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Prison Quotes

I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.

Mary Harris Jones
Total votes: 64

Only free men can negotiate. Prisoners cannot enter into contracts.

Nelson Mandela
Total votes: 46

Organized crime in America takes in over forty billion dollars a year. This is quite a profitable sum, especially when one considers that the Mafia spends very little for office supplies.

Woody Allen
Total votes: 92

He who does not prevent a crime when he can, encourages it.

Seneca
Total votes: 43

Prison, dungeons, blessed places where evil is impossible because they are the crossroads of all the evil in the world. One cannot commit evil in hell.

Jean Genet
Total votes: 40

I can tell you this on a stack of Bibles: prisons are archaic, brutal, unregenerative, overcrowded hell holes where the inmates are treated like animals with absolutely not one humane thought given to what they are going to do once they are released. You're an animal in a cage and you're treated like one.

Jimmy Hoffa
Total votes: 74

It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their own kind.

George Bernard Shaw
Total votes: 59

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.

Mr. Prophet
Total votes: 49

There are dreadful punishments enacted against thieves; but it were much better to make such good provisions, by which every man might be put in a method how to live, and so to be preserved from the fatal necessity of stealing and dying for it.

Thomas Moore
Total votes: 84

What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.

H. L. Mencken
Total votes: 71

If two people fight on the street, whose fault is it? Who is the criminal? It is the government’s responsibility because the government has not educated the people to not make mistakes. The people have inadequate, incompetent education, so they make mistakes! It is such a fraud.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Total votes: 33

There is no peace because the making of peace is at least as costly as the making of war - at least as exigent, at least as disruptive, at least as liable to bring disgrace and prison and death in its wake.

Daniel Berrigan
Total votes: 34

Some laws of state aimed at curbing crime are even more criminal.

Friedrich Engels
Total votes: 39

When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.

Mike Tyson
Total votes: 48

If you share the crime of your friend, you make it your own.

Syrus (Publilius Syrus)
Total votes: 52

If you treat prisoners well, they will be less angry, less inclined to violence inside prison, less likely to provoke violent actions by guards, less likely to have reason to file brutality lawsuits that cost taxpayers a bundle and waste administrators' time. And most important, well-treated prisoners will be less likely to leave prison angrier, more vicious and more inclined to criminal behavior than when they went in.

Frank Wood, Commissioner of Corrections, Minnesota
Total votes: 35

The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.

Henry Ward Beecher
Total votes: 46


He who profits by a crime commits it.

Seneca
Total votes: 55

When you are younger you get blamed for crimes you never committed and when you're older you begin to get credit for virtues you never possessed. It evens itself out.

George Santayana
Total votes: 39

Show me the prison, Show me the jail, Show me the prisoner whose life has gone stale. And I'll show you a young man with so many reasons why And there, but for fortune, go you or I.

Phil Ochs
Total votes: 27

Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.

Thomas Denman
Total votes: 40

The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.

Attributed to Fyodor Dostoevsky (Unverfied)
Total votes: 40

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.

Ramsey Clark
Total votes: 43

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.

Marquis de Sade
Total votes: 34

Well, I don't think prisons are the answer to everything, obviously.

Judge Mills Lane
Total votes: 36