Intellectual despair results in neither weakness nor dreams, but in violence. It is only a matter of knowing how to give vent to one's rage; whether one only wants to wander like madmen around prisons, or whether one wants to overturn them.
Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
There is no peace because the making of peace is at least as costly as the making of war - at least as exigent, at least as disruptive, at least as liable to bring disgrace and prison and death in its wake.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
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.
I was put into jail as I was going to the shoemaker's to get a shoe which was mended. When I was let out the next morning, I proceeded to finish my errand, and, having put on my mended shoe, joined a huckleberry party, who were impatient to put themselves under my conduct; and in half an hour -- for the horse was soon tackled -- was in the midst of a huckleberry field, on one of our highest hills, two miles off, and then the State was nowhere to be seen.
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.
If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking…is freedom.
The only effect of public punishment is to show the rabble how bravely it can be borne; and that every one who hath lost a toe-nail hath suffered worse.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
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.
Every instance of a man's suffering the penalty of the law is an instance of the failure of that penalty in effecting its purpose, which is to deter.
Adversities such as being homeless and going to prison has made many people stronger.
Civilization is maintained by a very few people in a small number of places and we need only some bombs and a few prisons to blot it out altogether.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
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.”
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.
Before we can diminish our sufferings from the ill-controlled aggressive assaults of fellow citizens, we must renounce the philosophy of punishment, the obsolete, vengeful penal attitude. In its place we would seek a comprehensive, constructive social attitude - therapeutic in some instances, restraining in some instances, but preventive in its total social impact. In the last analysis this becomes a question of personal morals and values. No matter how glorified or how piously disguised, vengeance as a human motive must be personally repudiated by each and every one of us.