The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
One of the problems that the marijuana reform movement consistently faces is that everyone wants to talk about what marijuana does, but no one ever wants to look at what marijuana prohibition does. Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows. Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
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. I did not for a moment feel confined, and the walls seemed a great waste of stone and mortar.
The contagion of crime is like that of the plague. Criminals collected together corrupt each other; they are worse than ever when at the termination of their punishment they re-enter society.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
They're not supposed to show prison films in prison. Especially ones that are about escaping.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.