If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
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.
It is not at the table, but in prison, that you learn who your true friends are.
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.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
I am certain that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.
We have our own system, ... and journalists in our system are not put in prison for embarrassing the government by revealing things the government might not wish to have revealed. The important thing is that our system, under which journalists can write without fear or favor, should continue.
The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.
Prison, dungeons, blessed places where evil is impossible because they are the crossroads of all the evil in the world. One cannot commit evil in hell.
When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass, Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron, Can be retentive to the strength of spirit; But life, being weary of these worldly bars, Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
Written laws are like spiders' webs, and will, like them, only entangle and hold the poor and weak, while the rich and powerful will easily break through them.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
I have been studying how I may compare this prison where I live unto the world; Shut up in the prison of their own consciences.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.