There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
There are dreadful punishments enacted against thieves; but it were much better to make such good provisions, by which every man might be put in a method how to live, and so to be preserved from the fatal necessity of stealing and dying for it.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
I have paid no poll-tax for six years. I was put into a jail once on this account, for one night; and, as I stood considering the walls of solid stone, I could not help being struck with the foolishness of that institution which treated me as if I were mere flesh and blood and bones, to be locked up...I saw that, if there was a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was a still more difficult one to climb or break through, before they could get to be as free as I was.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
I can tell you this on a stack of Bibles: prisons are archaic, brutal, unregenerative, overcrowded hell holes where the inmates are treated like animals with absolutely not one humane thought given to what they are going to do once they are released. You're an animal in a cage and you're treated like one.
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.
If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking…is freedom.
There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
By noiselessly going to a prison a civil-resister ensures a calm atmosphere.
It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their own kind.