Whatever you think of de Sade, he was a complex figure and we should not look for easy answers with him. He was, strangely perhaps, against the death penalty, and he was never put in prison for murders or anything like that.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
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.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
Adversities such as being homeless and going to prison has made many people stronger.
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.
The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.
I just remember that disturbing feeling of walking into that prison, the complete loss of privacy, the complete loss of stimulation, dignity.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
Once we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our mind, our duty is to furnish it well.
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.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
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 uneven impact of actual enforcement measures tends to mirror and reinforce more general patterns of discrimination (along socioeconomic, racial and ethnic, sexual, and perhaps generational lines) within the society. As a consequence, such enforcement (ineffective as it may be in producing conformity) almost certainly reinforces feelings of alienation already prevalent within major segments of the population.
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.
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.
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.
It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.