Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
He was a first-time nonviolent possible offender, ... And under the mandatory minimums, he was put in prison for 15 years. Not only does the punishment not fit the crime, but the mandatory minimums don't give judges any discretion to look at the background of the case, to read into the specifics of the case. I don't know a judge who really is in favor of the mandatory minimums.
By noiselessly going to a prison a civil-resister ensures a calm atmosphere.
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.
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.
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.
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.
The best situation of all, and one frequently utilized, is for jails and prisons to allow volunteer ministers of all faiths to enter prisons and offer their services to the inmates who want them. That way, the religious needs of inmates are met but without government funds being spent.
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
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.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
To be in prison so long, it's difficult to remember exactly what you did to get there.
It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their own kind.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
Here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to be to restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.
Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them.