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.
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.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
He had drawn many a thousand of these rations in prisons and camps, and though he'd never had an opportunity to weight them on scales, and although, being a man of timid nature, he knew no way of standing up for his rights, he, like every other prisoner, had discovered long ago that honest weight was never to be found in the bread-cutting. There was short weight in every ration. The only point was how short. So every day you took a look to soothe your soul - today, maybe, they haven't snitched any.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
Most people fancy themselves innocent of those crimes of which they cannot be convicted.
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 only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.
Law is merely the expression of the will of the strongest for the time being, and therefore laws have no fixity, but shift from generation to generation.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.
One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.
Forgiveness, that noblest of all self-denial, is a virtue which he alone who can practise in himself can willingly believe in another.
They're not supposed to show prison films in prison. Especially ones that are about escaping.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.