The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass, Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron, Can be retentive to the strength of spirit; But life, being weary of these worldly bars, Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
Here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to be to restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
I am certain that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.
One of the problems that the marijuana reform movement consistently faces is that everyone wants to talk about what marijuana does, but no one ever wants to look at what marijuana prohibition does. Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows.
When is conduct a crime, and when is a crime not a crime? When Somebody Up There -- a monarch, a dictator, a Pope, a legislator -- so decrees.
One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.
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.
It is safer that a bad man should not be accused, than that he should be acquitted.
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.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
Faults of the head are punished in this world, those of the heart in another; but as most of our vices are compound, so also is their punishment.
We who live in prison, and in whose lives there is no event but sorrow, have to measure time by throbs of pain, and the record of bitter moments.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.
Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.