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.”
There are few better measures of the concern a society has for its individual members and its own well being than the way it handles criminals.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
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.
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 worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
By noiselessly going to a prison a civil-resister ensures a calm atmosphere.
I never told a victim story about my imprisonment. Instead, I told a transformation story - about how prison changed my outlook, about how I saw that communication, truth, and trust are at the heart of power.
They're not supposed to show prison films in prison. Especially ones that are about escaping.
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.
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.
There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.
Justice is justice though it's always delayed and finally done only by mistake.
The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.
The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
Prison makes you a better judge of character. You pick up on people much faster.