The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
There are few better measures of the concern a society has for its individual members and its own well being than the way it handles criminals.
It is true you cannot eat freedom and you cannot power machinery with democracy. But then neither can political prisoners turn on the light in the cells of a dictatorship.
Prison continues, on those who are entrusted to it, a work begun elsewhere, which the whole of society pursues on each individual through innumerable mechanisms of discipline.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
Prison makes you a better judge of character. You pick up on people much faster.
Prosecution I have managed to avoid; but I have been arrested, charged in a police court, have refused to be bound over, and thereupon have been unconditionally released - to my great regret; for I have always wanted to know what going to prison was like.
I just remember that disturbing feeling of walking into that prison, the complete loss of privacy, the complete loss of stimulation, dignity.
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
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.”
The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.
To be in prison so long, it's difficult to remember exactly what you did to get there.
It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
Civilization is maintained by a very few people in a small number of places and we need only some bombs and a few prisons to blot it out altogether.