Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
Faults of the head are punished in this world, those of the heart in another; but as most of our vices are compound, so also is their punishment.
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.
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.
The idea that the sole aim of punishment is to prevent crime is obviously grounded upon the theory that crime can be prevented, which is almost as dubious as the notion that poverty can be prevented.
There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
I just remember that disturbing feeling of walking into that prison, the complete loss of privacy, the complete loss of stimulation, dignity.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
The contagion of crime is like that of the plague. Criminals collected together corrupt each other; they are worse than ever when at the termination of their punishment they re-enter society.
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.
If we look at Houston, which is a very environmentally toxic place, we find that it has one of the highest levels of young men going to prison and also among the highest levels of illiteracy in the country.
Civilization is maintained by a very few people in a small number of places and we need only some bombs and a few prisons to blot it out altogether.
I am an expert of electricity. My father occupied the chair of applied electricity at the state prison.
A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.
To try to raise a son from inside the prison walls is a very difficult thing. But I want to say to the world my son at 16 was the one who tried the most to get me out of prison.
I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
Whatever is worthy to be loved for anything is worthy of preservation. A wise and dispassionate legislator, if any such should ever arise among men, will not condemn to death him who has done or is likely to do more service than injury to society. Blocks and gibbets are the nearest objects with legislators, and their business is never with hopes or with virtues.