The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
We have initiated programs for re-entry offenders, since some 500,000 to 600,000 offenders will come out of prison each year for the next three or four years. We want to have positive alternatives when they come back to the community.
The difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion is the thickness of a prison walls.
Before we can diminish our sufferings from the ill-controlled aggressive assaults of fellow citizens, we must renounce the philosophy of punishment, the obsolete, vengeful penal attitude. In its place we would seek a comprehensive, constructive social attitude - therapeutic in some instances, restraining in some instances, but preventive in its total social impact. In the last analysis this becomes a question of personal morals and values. No matter how glorified or how piously disguised, vengeance as a human motive must be personally repudiated by each and every one of us.
The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.
In jail a man has no personality. He is a minor disposal problem and a few entries on reports. Nobody cares who loves or hates him, what he looks like, what he did with his life. Nobody reacts to him unless he gives trouble. Nobody abuses him. All that is asked of him is that he go quietly to the right cell and remain quiet when he gets there. There is nothing to fight against, nothing to be mad at. The jailers are quiet men without animosity or sadism.
Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.
To try to raise a son from inside the prison walls is a very difficult thing. But I want to say to the world my son at 16 was the one who tried the most to get me out of prison.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
It was only when I lay there on the rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not between states nor between social classes nor between political parties, but right through every human heart, through all human hearts. And that is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me, bless you, prison, for having been a part of my life.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass, Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron, Can be retentive to the strength of spirit; But life, being weary of these worldly bars, Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
It is not at the table, but in prison, that you learn who your true friends are.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
Civilization is maintained by a very few people in a small number of places and we need only some bombs and a few prisons to blot it out altogether.