Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
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.
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.
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.
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.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
No man survives when freedom fails. The best men rot in filthy jails, and those who cry 'appease, appease' are hanged by those they tried to please.
Prison makes you a better judge of character. You pick up on people much faster.
Intellectual despair results in neither weakness nor dreams, but in violence. It is only a matter of knowing how to give vent to one's rage; whether one only wants to wander like madmen around prisons, or whether one wants to overturn them.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
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.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
It is impossible to go through life without trust: That is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.
The only effect of public punishment is to show the rabble how bravely it can be borne; and that every one who hath lost a toe-nail hath suffered worse.