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Prison Quotes

In my country we go to prison first and then become President.

Nelson Mandela
Total votes: 44

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.

Jimmy Hoffa
Total votes: 83

Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Total votes: 41

Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law.

Oliver Goldsmith
Total votes: 34

No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Total votes: 40

The idea that the sole aim of punishment is to prevent crime is obviously grounded upon the theory that crime can be prevented, which is almost as dubious as the notion that poverty can be prevented.

H. L. Mencken
Total votes: 51

No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.

Jeremy Taylor
Total votes: 82

Care should be taken that the punishment does not exceed the guilt; and also that some men do not suffer for offenses for which others are not even indicted.

Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero)
Total votes: 40

It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their own kind.

George Bernard Shaw
Total votes: 69

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

Henry Ward Beecher
Total votes: 50


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: 41

A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.

Ouida (pseudonym of Marie Louise de la Ramee)
Total votes: 35

Wherever any one is against his will, that is to him a prison.

Epictetus
Total votes: 29

If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking…is freedom.

Dwight David Eisenhower
Total votes: 45

Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

Albert Einstein
Total votes: 46

One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.

Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenal)
Total votes: 74

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.

Michael Badnarik
Total votes: 56

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: 30

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.

Philip Kaufman
Total votes: 46

Justice is justice though it's always delayed and finally done only by mistake.

George Bernard Shaw
Total votes: 48

Do not lay on the multitude the blame that is due to a few.

Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso)
Total votes: 55

The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.

Attributed to Fyodor Dostoevsky (Unverfied)
Total votes: 44

Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful.

Friedrich Nietzsche
Total votes: 56

The torment of human frustration, whatever its immediate cause, is the knowledge that the self is in prison, its vital force and 'mangled mind' leaking away in lonely, wasteful self-conflict.

Elizabeth Drew
Total votes: 66

One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.

Bertrand Russell
Total votes: 42