If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.
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.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
I was put into jail as I was going to the shoemaker's to get a shoe which was mended. When I was let out the next morning, I proceeded to finish my errand, and, having put on my mended shoe, joined a huckleberry party, who were impatient to put themselves under my conduct; and in half an hour -- for the horse was soon tackled -- was in the midst of a huckleberry field, on one of our highest hills, two miles off, and then the State was nowhere to be seen.
Civilization is maintained by a very few people in a small number of places and we need only some bombs and a few prisons to blot it out altogether.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
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.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
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.
It is impossible to go through life without trust: That is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.
Justice is that virtue of the soul which is distributive according to desert.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
I can tell you this on a stack of Bibles: prisons are archaic, brutal, unregenerative, overcrowded hell holes where the inmates are treated like animals with absolutely not one humane thought given to what they are going to do once they are released. You're an animal in a cage and you're treated like one.
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.
Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.