I was in prison, and you came unto me. Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
~(Jesus Christ) Matthew 25:36, 40
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.
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.
Prosecution I have managed to avoid; but I have been arrested, charged in a police court, have refused to be bound over, and thereupon have been unconditionally released - to my great regret; for I have always wanted to know what going to prison was like.
The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.
They took away my money, my family, and my security. Why couldn't they destroy my ideas? We will question them in court tomorrow as we trigger The Revolution of all revolutions!
Fast closed with double grills
And triple gates – the cell
To wicked souls is hell;
But to a mind that's innocent
'Tis only iron, wood and stone.
The uneven impact of actual enforcement measures tends to mirror and reinforce more general patterns of discrimination (along socioeconomic, racial and ethnic, sexual, and perhaps generational lines) within the society. As a consequence, such enforcement (ineffective as it may be in producing conformity) almost certainly reinforces feelings of alienation already prevalent within major segments of the population.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.
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.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
Once we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our mind, our duty is to furnish it well.