If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
It was only when I lay there on the rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not between states nor between social classes nor between political parties, but right through every human heart, through all human hearts. And that is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me, bless you, prison, for having been a part of my life.
I know not whether laws be right, or whether laws be wrong; All that we know who lie in gaol is that the wall is strong; And that each day is like a year, a year whose days are long.
What is crime amongst the multitude, is only vice among the few.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
Three hundred years ago a prisoner condemned to the Tower of London carved on the wall of his cell this sentiment to keep up his spirits during his long imprisonment: “It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear adversity.”
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
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.
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.
On a planet that increasingly resembles one huge Maximum Security prison, the only intelligent choice is to plan a jail break.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
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.
Organized crime in America takes in over forty billion dollars a year. This is quite a profitable sum, especially when one considers that the Mafia spends very little for office supplies.