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.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
The only difference between me and my fellow actors is that I've spent more time in jail.
Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.
The only effect of public punishment is to show the rabble how bravely it can be borne; and that every one who hath lost a toe-nail hath suffered worse.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.
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.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
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.
We're in a war. People who blast some pot on a casual basis are guilty of treason.
Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
By noiselessly going to a prison a civil-resister ensures a calm atmosphere.
The uneven impact of actual enforcement measures tends to mirror and reinforce more general patterns of discrimination (along socioeconomic, racial and ethnic, sexual, and perhaps generational lines) within the society. As a consequence, such enforcement (ineffective as it may be in producing conformity) almost certainly reinforces feelings of alienation already prevalent within major segments of the population.
Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them.