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.
America is the land of the second chance – and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
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.
Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization.
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.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
Here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to be to restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton.
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.