Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
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.
Every instance of a man's suffering the penalty of the law is an instance of the failure of that penalty in effecting its purpose, which is to deter.
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.
Prison makes you a better judge of character. You pick up on people much faster.
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?
One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.
In jail a man has no personality. He is a minor disposal problem and a few entries on reports. Nobody cares who loves or hates him, what he looks like, what he did with his life. Nobody reacts to him unless he gives trouble. Nobody abuses him. All that is asked of him is that he go quietly to the right cell and remain quiet when he gets there. There is nothing to fight against, nothing to be mad at. The jailers are quiet men without animosity or sadism.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
I was in prison, and you came unto me. Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
~(Jesus Christ) Matthew 25:36, 40
Law is merely the expression of the will of the strongest for the time being, and therefore laws have no fixity, but shift from generation to generation.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
Governments have tried to stop crime through punishment throughout the ages, but crime continued in the past punishment remains. Crime can only be stopped through a preventive approach in the schools. You teach the students Transcendental Meditation, and right away they’ll begin using their full brain physiology sensible and they will not get sidetracked into wrong things.
Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.
It was only when I lay there on the rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not between states nor between social classes nor between political parties, but right through every human heart, through all human hearts. And that is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me, bless you, prison, for having been a part of my life.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.