By noiselessly going to a prison a civil-resister ensures a calm atmosphere.
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.
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.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
Once we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our mind, our duty is to furnish it well.
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.
It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.
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.
It is safer that a bad man should not be accused, than that he should be acquitted.
Three hundred years ago a prisoner condemned to the Tower of London carved on the wall of his cell this sentiment to keep up his spirits during his long imprisonment: “It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear adversity.”
Fast closed with double grills
And triple gates – the cell
To wicked souls is hell;
But to a mind that's innocent
'Tis only iron, wood and stone.
I know not whether laws be right, or whether laws be wrong; All that we know who lie in gaol is that the wall is strong; And that each day is like a year, a year whose days are long.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
If we look at Houston, which is a very environmentally toxic place, we find that it has one of the highest levels of young men going to prison and also among the highest levels of illiteracy in the country.