Prison continues, on those who are entrusted to it, a work begun elsewhere, which the whole of society pursues on each individual through innumerable mechanisms of discipline.
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.
A country is in a bad state, which is governed only by laws; because a thousand things occur for which laws cannot provide, and where authority ought to interpose.
They were being driven to a prison, through no fault of their own, in all probability for life. In comparison, how much easier it would be to walk to the gallows than to this tomb of living horrors!
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.
Whatever is worthy to be loved for anything is worthy of preservation. A wise and dispassionate legislator, if any such should ever arise among men, will not condemn to death him who has done or is likely to do more service than injury to society. Blocks and gibbets are the nearest objects with legislators, and their business is never with hopes or with virtues.
If it's near dinner-time, the foreman takes out his watch when the jury has retired, and says: "Dear me, gentlemen, ten minutes to five, I declare! I dine at five, gentlemen." "So do I," says everybody else, except two men who ought to have dined at three and seem more than half disposed to stand out in consequence. The foreman smiles, and puts up his watch:--"Well, gentlemen, what do we say, plaintiff or defendant, gentlemen?
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
To try to raise a son from inside the prison walls is a very difficult thing. But I want to say to the world my son at 16 was the one who tried the most to get me out of prison.
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.
It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
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.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
We have initiated programs for re-entry offenders, since some 500,000 to 600,000 offenders will come out of prison each year for the next three or four years. We want to have positive alternatives when they come back to the community.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
Fear can be like a prison. It is, however, a self made prison. Many are imprisoned by fear. No one else can liberate them from this prison. Others may inspire them but they must liberate themselves.
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.