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Prison Quotes

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

A country is in a bad state, which is governed only by laws; because a thousand things occur for which laws cannot provide, and where authority ought to interpose.

Samuel Johnson
Total votes: 54

Justice is that virtue of the soul which is distributive according to desert.

Aristotle
Total votes: 47

It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.

Jacques Yves Cousteau
Total votes: 24

Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful.

Friedrich Nietzsche
Total votes: 51

I know how men in exile feed on dreams of hope.

Aeschylus
Total votes: 35

The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.

Horace Mann
Total votes: 34

A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards, as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.

Ludwig Wittgenstein
Total votes: 28

The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.

H. L. Mencken
Total votes: 42

No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.

Carrie Chapman Catt
Total votes: 36

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

One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.

Oscar Wilde
Total votes: 37

It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.

Thomas Jefferson
Total votes: 37

The number of laws is constantly growing in all countries and, owing to this, what is called crime is very often not a crime at all, for it contains no element of violence or harm.

P. D. Ouspensky
Total votes: 28

We are prisoners of ideas.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Total votes: 38

America is the land of the second chance – and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.

George W. Bush
Total votes: 28

The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.

Oliver Goldsmith
Total votes: 33

The only effect of public punishment is to show the rabble how bravely it can be borne; and that every one who hath lost a toe-nail hath suffered worse.

Walter Savage Landor
Total votes: 37

Extreme justice is extreme injustice.

Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero)
Total votes: 33

Care should be taken that the punishment does not exceed the guilt; and also that some men do not suffer for offenses for which others are not even indicted.

Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero)
Total votes: 35

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

The punishment can be remitted; the crime is everlasting.

Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso)
Total votes: 47

Women have worked hard; starved in prison; given of their time and lives that we might sit in the House of Commons and take part in the legislating of this country.

Ellen Wilkinson
Total votes: 26

Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.

Thomas Denman
Total votes: 36


Karl Menninger
Total votes: 30