Civilization is maintained by a very few people in a small number of places and we need only some bombs and a few prisons to blot it out altogether.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
It is impossible to go through life without trust: That is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.
Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrist? And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists? And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air? Oh they're taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.
To try to raise a son from inside the prison walls is a very difficult thing. But I want to say to the world my son at 16 was the one who tried the most to get me out of prison.
Experts and the educated elite have replaced what worked with what sounded good. Society was far more civilized before they took over our schools, prisons, welfare programs, police departments and courts. It's high time we ran these people out of our lives and went back to common sense.
Three hundred years ago a prisoner condemned to the Tower of London carved on the wall of his cell this sentiment to keep up his spirits during his long imprisonment: “It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear adversity.”
The thoughts of a prisoner - they're not free either. They keep returning to the same things.
I have been studying how I may compare This prison where I live unto the world; And, for because the world is populous, And here is not a creature but myself, I cannot do it. Yet I'll hammer it out.
Intellectual despair results in neither weakness nor dreams, but in violence. It is only a matter of knowing how to give vent to one's rage; whether one only wants to wander like madmen around prisons, or whether one wants to overturn them.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.