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.
It is safer that a bad man should not be accused, than that he should be acquitted.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
History is full of people who went to prison or were burned at the stake for proclaiming their ideas. Society has always defended itself.
If you treat prisoners well, they will be less angry, less inclined to violence inside prison, less likely to provoke violent actions by guards, less likely to have reason to file brutality lawsuits that cost taxpayers a bundle and waste administrators' time. And most important, well-treated prisoners will be less likely to leave prison angrier, more vicious and more inclined to criminal behavior than when they went in.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
Justice is justice though it's always delayed and finally done only by mistake.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
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.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
It is not at the table, but in prison, that you learn who your true friends are.
Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
When is conduct a crime, and when is a crime not a crime? When Somebody Up There -- a monarch, a dictator, a Pope, a legislator -- so decrees.
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.
It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.
Show me the prison, Show me the jail, Show me the prisoner whose life has gone stale. And I'll show you a young man with so many reasons why And there, but for fortune, go you or I.