The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton.
It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.
Once we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our mind, our duty is to furnish it well.
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.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
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 law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.
The contagion of crime is like that of the plague. Criminals collected together corrupt each other; they are worse than ever when at the termination of their punishment they re-enter society.
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
On average, drug prisoners spend more time in federal prison than rapists, who often get out on early release because of the overcrowding in prison caused by the Drug War.
It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
Show me the prison, Show me the jail, Show me the prisoner whose life has gone stale. And I'll show you a young man with so many reasons why And there, but for fortune, go you or I.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.