On a planet that increasingly resembles one huge Maximum Security prison, the only intelligent choice is to plan a jail break.
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.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
Any punishment that does not correct, that can merely rouse rebellion in whoever has to endure it, is a piece of gratuitous infamy which makes those who impose it more guilty in the eyes of humanity, good sense and reason, nay a hundred times more guilty than the victim on whom the punishment is inflicted.
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.
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.
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.
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.
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.