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Prison Quotes

Society prepares the crime; the criminal commits it.

Henry Thomas Buckle
Total votes: 36

No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.

Carrie Chapman Catt
Total votes: 38

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

If it's near dinner-time, the foreman takes out his watch when the jury has retired, and says: "Dear me, gentlemen, ten minutes to five, I declare! I dine at five, gentlemen." "So do I," says everybody else, except two men who ought to have dined at three and seem more than half disposed to stand out in consequence. The foreman smiles, and puts up his watch:--"Well, gentlemen, what do we say, plaintiff or defendant, gentlemen?

Charles Dickens
Total votes: 36

No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.

Jeremy Taylor
Total votes: 66

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.

William Shakespeare
Total votes: 56

The power of punishment is to silence, not to confute.

Samuel Johnson
Total votes: 50

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.

A. E. Housman
Total votes: 49

Since 1957, black people have experienced double-digit unemployment - in good times and bad times. Look at the population of African Americans in prison. They represent more than half the population of prisoners in the country, 55 percent of those on death row.

Danny Glover
Total votes: 35

A pedestal is as much a prison as any small, confined space.

Gloria Steinem
Total votes: 37

Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.

Antonin Scalia
Total votes: 49

The thoughts of a prisoner - they're not free either. They keep returning to the same things.

Aleksander Solzhenitsyn
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: 49


Karl Menninger
Total votes: 35

He was a first-time nonviolent possible offender, ... And under the mandatory minimums, he was put in prison for 15 years. Not only does the punishment not fit the crime, but the mandatory minimums don't give judges any discretion to look at the background of the case, to read into the specifics of the case. I don't know a judge who really is in favor of the mandatory minimums.

Carly Simon
Total votes: 27

You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.

Bronislaw Malinowski
Total votes: 62

Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
~James Bell

James Bell
Total votes: 30

When is conduct a crime, and when is a crime not a crime? When Somebody Up There -- a monarch, a dictator, a Pope, a legislator -- so decrees.

Jessica Mitford
Total votes: 40

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.

Raymond Chandler
Total votes: 39

There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.

William Glasser
Total votes: 35

Steal goods and you’ll go to prison, steal lands and you are a king.

Japanese Proverb
Total votes: 44

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

Friedrich Engels
Total votes: 39

The uneven impact of actual enforcement measures tends to mirror and reinforce more general patterns of discrimination (along socioeconomic, racial and ethnic, sexual, and perhaps generational lines) within the society. As a consequence, such enforcement (ineffective as it may be in producing conformity) almost certainly reinforces feelings of alienation already prevalent within major segments of the population.

Edwin M. Schur
Total votes: 31

There is a point at which even justice does injury.

Sophocles
Total votes: 39

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