The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
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.
When you are younger you get blamed for crimes you never committed and when you're older you begin to get credit for virtues you never possessed. It evens itself out.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
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.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
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.
I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
It is impossible to go through life without trust: That is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.
I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
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.
He had drawn many a thousand of these rations in prisons and camps, and though he'd never had an opportunity to weight them on scales, and although, being a man of timid nature, he knew no way of standing up for his rights, he, like every other prisoner, had discovered long ago that honest weight was never to be found in the bread-cutting. There was short weight in every ration. The only point was how short. So every day you took a look to soothe your soul - today, maybe, they haven't snitched any.
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.
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.