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.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
I have been studying how I may compare this prison where I live unto the world; Shut up in the prison of their own consciences.
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
It was only when I lay there on the rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not between states nor between social classes nor between political parties, but right through every human heart, through all human hearts. And that is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me, bless you, prison, for having been a part of my life.
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.
It is true you cannot eat freedom and you cannot power machinery with democracy. But then neither can political prisoners turn on the light in the cells of a dictatorship.
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.
The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.
It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.
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.
The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.
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.
The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.
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.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.