If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
Since 1957, black people have experienced double-digit unemployment - in good times and bad times. Look at the population of African Americans in prison. They represent more than half the population of prisoners in the country, 55 percent of those on death row.
One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.
On average, drug prisoners spend more time in federal prison than rapists, who often get out on early release because of the overcrowding in prison caused by the Drug War.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
The number of laws is constantly growing in all countries and, owing to this, what is called crime is very often not a crime at all, for it contains no element of violence or harm.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.
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.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
When is conduct a crime, and when is a crime not a crime? When Somebody Up There -- a monarch, a dictator, a Pope, a legislator -- so decrees.
The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.
Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.