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.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.
He had drawn many a thousand of these rations in prisons and camps, and though he'd never had an opportunity to weight them on scales, and although, being a man of timid nature, he knew no way of standing up for his rights, he, like every other prisoner, had discovered long ago that honest weight was never to be found in the bread-cutting. There was short weight in every ration. The only point was how short. So every day you took a look to soothe your soul - today, maybe, they haven't snitched any.
The idea that the sole aim of punishment is to prevent crime is obviously grounded upon the theory that crime can be prevented, which is almost as dubious as the notion that poverty can be prevented.
On a planet that increasingly resembles one huge Maximum Security prison, the only intelligent choice is to plan a jail break.
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.
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.
Every instance of a man's suffering the penalty of the law is an instance of the failure of that penalty in effecting its purpose, which is to deter.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
Prison makes you a better judge of character. You pick up on people much faster.
It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their own kind.
There is no peace because the making of peace is at least as costly as the making of war - at least as exigent, at least as disruptive, at least as liable to bring disgrace and prison and death in its wake.
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.
To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder.
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.
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.
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.