To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
Prosecution I have managed to avoid; but I have been arrested, charged in a police court, have refused to be bound over, and thereupon have been unconditionally released - to my great regret; for I have always wanted to know what going to prison was like.
We who live in prison, and in whose lives there is no event but sorrow, have to measure time by throbs of pain, and the record of bitter moments.
America is the land of the second chance – and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
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.
When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.
It is true you cannot eat freedom and you cannot power machinery with democracy. But then neither can political prisoners turn on the light in the cells of a dictatorship.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton.
He had drawn many a thousand of these rations in prisons and camps, and though he'd never had an opportunity to weight them on scales, and although, being a man of timid nature, he knew no way of standing up for his rights, he, like every other prisoner, had discovered long ago that honest weight was never to be found in the bread-cutting. There was short weight in every ration. The only point was how short. So every day you took a look to soothe your soul - today, maybe, they haven't snitched any.
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.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.