I have paid no poll-tax for six years. I was put into a jail once on this account, for one night; and, as I stood considering the walls of solid stone, I could not help being struck with the foolishness of that institution which treated me as if I were mere flesh and blood and bones, to be locked up...I saw that, if there was a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was a still more difficult one to climb or break through, before they could get to be as free as I was.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
The only difference between me and my fellow actors is that I've spent more time in jail.
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.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.
I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
Justice is that virtue of the soul which is distributive according to desert.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
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.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
Federal prison, if you get any of it, you're going to have to do 85% of it. And the reason why I called it that is because I had a friend who got sent to the federal joint and his whole... it wasn't about him being in jail. He cried about the 85%.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
Money will determine whether the accused goes to prison or walks out of the courtroom a free man.
When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.