There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
It is safer that a bad man should not be accused, than that he should be acquitted.
By noiselessly going to a prison a civil-resister ensures a calm atmosphere.
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.
We shall not yield to violence. We shall not be deprived of union freedoms. We shall never agree with sending people to prison for their convictions.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
Justice is that virtue of the soul which is distributive according to desert.
If we look at Houston, which is a very environmentally toxic place, we find that it has one of the highest levels of young men going to prison and also among the highest levels of illiteracy in the country.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
Adversities such as being homeless and going to prison has made many people stronger.
Any punishment that does not correct, that can merely rouse rebellion in whoever has to endure it, is a piece of gratuitous infamy which makes those who impose it more guilty in the eyes of humanity, good sense and reason, nay a hundred times more guilty than the victim on whom the punishment is inflicted.
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.”
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
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.
We who live in prison, and in whose lives there is no event but sorrow, have to measure time by throbs of pain, and the record of bitter moments.
The torment of human frustration, whatever its immediate cause, is the knowledge that the self is in prison, its vital force and 'mangled mind' leaking away in lonely, wasteful self-conflict.