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Prison Quotes

If it's near dinner-time, the foreman takes out his watch when the jury has retired, and says: "Dear me, gentlemen, ten minutes to five, I declare! I dine at five, gentlemen." "So do I," says everybody else, except two men who ought to have dined at three and seem more than half disposed to stand out in consequence. The foreman smiles, and puts up his watch:--"Well, gentlemen, what do we say, plaintiff or defendant, gentlemen?

Charles Dickens
Total votes: 35

To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.

William Gilmore Simms
Total votes: 38

The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.

Walter Raleigh Sr.
Total votes: 29


When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.

Mike Tyson
Total votes: 40

The uneven impact of actual enforcement measures tends to mirror and reinforce more general patterns of discrimination (along socioeconomic, racial and ethnic, sexual, and perhaps generational lines) within the society. As a consequence, such enforcement (ineffective as it may be in producing conformity) almost certainly reinforces feelings of alienation already prevalent within major segments of the population.

Edwin M. Schur
Total votes: 28

The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.

Stendhal (pseudonym Henri Beyle)
Total votes: 45

The torment of human frustration, whatever its immediate cause, is the knowledge that the self is in prison, its vital force and 'mangled mind' leaking away in lonely, wasteful self-conflict.

Elizabeth Drew
Total votes: 46

One crime is everything; two nothing.

Dorothee DeLuzy
Total votes: 37

Here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to be to restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.

John Milton
Total votes: 45

Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law.

Oliver Goldsmith
Total votes: 31

One crime has to be concealed by another.

Seneca
Total votes: 52

I know not whether laws be right, or whether laws be wrong; All that we know who lie in gaol is that the wall is strong; And that each day is like a year, a year whose days are long.

Oscar Wilde
Total votes: 41

I don't like jail, they got the wrong kind of bars in there.

Charles Bukowski
Total votes: 37

The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.

David Herbert Lawrence
Total votes: 30

Pardon is the virtue of victory.

Giuseppe Mazzini
Total votes: 53

Intellectual despair results in neither weakness nor dreams, but in violence. It is only a matter of knowing how to give vent to one's rage; whether one only wants to wander like madmen around prisons, or whether one wants to overturn them.

Georges Bataille
Total votes: 47

If you treat prisoners well, they will be less angry, less inclined to violence inside prison, less likely to provoke violent actions by guards, less likely to have reason to file brutality lawsuits that cost taxpayers a bundle and waste administrators' time. And most important, well-treated prisoners will be less likely to leave prison angrier, more vicious and more inclined to criminal behavior than when they went in.

Frank Wood, Commissioner of Corrections, Minnesota
Total votes: 35

Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful.

Friedrich Nietzsche
Total votes: 51

Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.

A. R. Ammons
Total votes: 28

Every crime has, in the moment of its perpetration, Its own avenging angel--dark misgiving, An ominous sinking at the inmost heart.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Total votes: 29

Since 1957, black people have experienced double-digit unemployment - in good times and bad times. Look at the population of African Americans in prison. They represent more than half the population of prisoners in the country, 55 percent of those on death row.

Danny Glover
Total votes: 33

Prosecution I have managed to avoid; but I have been arrested, charged in a police court, have refused to be bound over, and thereupon have been unconditionally released - to my great regret; for I have always wanted to know what going to prison was like.

Laurence Housman
Total votes: 43

Clemency alone makes us equal to the gods.

Claudian
Total votes: 50

A man who has no excuse for a crime, is indeed defenseless!

Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton
Total votes: 63

He was a first-time nonviolent possible offender, ... And under the mandatory minimums, he was put in prison for 15 years. Not only does the punishment not fit the crime, but the mandatory minimums don't give judges any discretion to look at the background of the case, to read into the specifics of the case. I don't know a judge who really is in favor of the mandatory minimums.

Carly Simon
Total votes: 25