Whatever you think of de Sade, he was a complex figure and we should not look for easy answers with him. He was, strangely perhaps, against the death penalty, and he was never put in prison for murders or anything like that.
Prison continues, on those who are entrusted to it, a work begun elsewhere, which the whole of society pursues on each individual through innumerable mechanisms of discipline.
It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.
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.
I know not whether laws be right, or whether laws be wrong; All that we know who lie in gaol is that the wall is strong; And that each day is like a year, a year whose days are long.
The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.
There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.
And while God had work for Paul, he found him friends both in court and prison. Let persecutors send saints to prison, God can provide a keeper for their turn.
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
Taught from infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
A country is in a bad state, which is governed only by laws; because a thousand things occur for which laws cannot provide, and where authority ought to interpose.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.