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Prison Quotes

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.”

Father James Keller
Total votes: 13

The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.

Walter Raleigh Sr.
Total votes: 11

Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.

Edmund Burke
Total votes: 7

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

Aleksander Solzhenitsyn
Total votes: 16

Nelson Mandela and Malcolm X came out of prison stronger.

Philip Emeagwali
Total votes: 12

Hard cases, it is said, make bad law.

Lord John Campbell
You voted 3. Total votes: 21

What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.

H. L. Mencken
Total votes: 22

The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.

Horace Mann
Total votes: 18

Organized crime in America takes in over forty billion dollars a year. This is quite a profitable sum, especially when one considers that the Mafia spends very little for office supplies.

Woody Allen
Total votes: 8

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.

Henry David Thoreau
Total votes: 11

Laws do not persuade just because they threaten.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Total votes: 10


Federal prison, if you get any of it, you're going to have to do 85% of it. And the reason why I called it that is because I had a friend who got sent to the federal joint and his whole... it wasn't about him being in jail. He cried about the 85%.

Mike Epps
Total votes: 15

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.

John Milton
Total votes: 5

A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.

Ouida (pseudonym of Marie Louise de la Ramee)
Total votes: 7

Man is condemned to be free.

Jean-Paul Sartre
Total votes: 20

The virtue of justice consists in moderation, as regulated by wisdom.

Aristotle
Total votes: 14

We don't seem to be able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business.

Will Rogers
Total votes: 12

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.

Danny Glover
Total votes: 11

I have never been contained except I made the prison.

Mary Evans
Total votes: 13

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.

H. L. Mencken
Total votes: 14

You stuff somebody into the American dream, and it becomes a prison.

Craig L. Thomas
Total votes: 12

The severest justice may not always be the best policy.

Abraham Lincoln
Total votes: 14

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: 12

Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.

Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso)
Total votes: 20

I never told a victim story about my imprisonment. Instead, I told a transformation story - about how prison changed my outlook, about how I saw that communication, truth, and trust are at the heart of power.

Fernando Flores
Total votes: 17