The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.
In jail a man has no personality. He is a minor disposal problem and a few entries on reports. Nobody cares who loves or hates him, what he looks like, what he did with his life. Nobody reacts to him unless he gives trouble. Nobody abuses him. All that is asked of him is that he go quietly to the right cell and remain quiet when he gets there. There is nothing to fight against, nothing to be mad at. The jailers are quiet men without animosity or sadism.
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.
The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization.
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.
I have been studying how I may compare This prison where I live unto the world; And, for because the world is populous, And here is not a creature but myself, I cannot do it. Yet I'll hammer it out.
Show me the prison, Show me the jail, Show me the prisoner whose life has gone stale. And I'll show you a young man with so many reasons why And there, but for fortune, go you or I.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
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.
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
I have been studying how I may compare this prison where I live unto the world; Shut up in the prison of their own consciences.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
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.