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Prison Quotes

The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.

H. L. Mencken
Total votes: 26

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.

Georges Bataille
Total votes: 41

Well does Heaven have care that no man secures happiness by crime.

Vittorio Alfieri
Total votes: 41


Written laws are like spiders' webs, and will, like them, only entangle and hold the poor and weak, while the rich and powerful will easily break through them.

Anacharsis
Total votes: 30

The punishment can be remitted; the crime is everlasting.

Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso)
Total votes: 38

The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.

Henry Ward Beecher
Total votes: 39


Whatever is worthy to be loved for anything is worthy of preservation. A wise and dispassionate legislator, if any such should ever arise among men, will not condemn to death him who has done or is likely to do more service than injury to society. Blocks and gibbets are the nearest objects with legislators, and their business is never with hopes or with virtues.

Walter Savage Landor
Total votes: 34

There are few better measures of the concern a society has for its individual members and its own well being than the way it handles criminals.

Ramsey Clark
Total votes: 39

The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
 

Bertrand Russell
Total votes: 76

Laws do not persuade just because they threaten.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Total votes: 53

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

Walter Raleigh Sr.
Total votes: 29

A country is in a bad state, which is governed only by laws; because a thousand things occur for which laws cannot provide, and where authority ought to interpose.

Samuel Johnson
Total votes: 42

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: 48

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: 24

We have our own system, ... and journalists in our system are not put in prison for embarrassing the government by revealing things the government might not wish to have revealed. The important thing is that our system, under which journalists can write without fear or favor, should continue.

Chris Patten
Total votes: 41

There are dreadful punishments enacted against thieves; but it were much better to make such good provisions, by which every man might be put in a method how to live, and so to be preserved from the fatal necessity of stealing and dying for it.

Thomas Moore
Total votes: 62


Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Total votes: 23

Law is merely the expression of the will of the strongest for the time being, and therefore laws have no fixity, but shift from generation to generation.

Henry Brooks Adams
Total votes: 30

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: 33

The solution to our drug problem is not in incarceration.
 

Barry McCaffrey
Total votes: 29

The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.

Stendhal (pseudonym Henri Beyle)
Total votes: 39

It is impossible to go through life without trust: That is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.

Graham Greene
Total votes: 45

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.

Aleksander Solzhenitsyn
Total votes: 36

The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.

Oliver Goldsmith
Total votes: 33

No crime has been without a precedent.

Seneca
Total votes: 42