No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
The contagion of crime is like that of the plague. Criminals collected together corrupt each other; they are worse than ever when at the termination of their punishment they re-enter society.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
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.
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.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
On average, drug prisoners spend more time in federal prison than rapists, who often get out on early release because of the overcrowding in prison caused by the Drug War.
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.
Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrist? And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists? And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air? Oh they're taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.
Faults of the head are punished in this world, those of the heart in another; but as most of our vices are compound, so also is their punishment.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
If you strike at, imprison, or kill us, out of our prisons or graves we will still evoke a spirit that will thwart you, and perhaps, raise a force that will destroy you! We defy you! Do your worst!
I have paid no poll-tax for six years. I was put into a jail once on this account, for one night; and, as I stood considering the walls of solid stone, I could not help being struck with the foolishness of that institution which treated me as if I were mere flesh and blood and bones, to be locked up...I saw that, if there was a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was a still more difficult one to climb or break through, before they could get to be as free as I was. I did not for a moment feel confined, and the walls seemed a great waste of stone and mortar.
By noiselessly going to a prison a civil-resister ensures a calm atmosphere.