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 object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
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.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.
Any punishment that does not correct, that can merely rouse rebellion in whoever has to endure it, is a piece of gratuitous infamy which makes those who impose it more guilty in the eyes of humanity, good sense and reason, nay a hundred times more guilty than the victim on whom the punishment is inflicted.
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.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
Prison makes you a better judge of character. You pick up on people much faster.
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.
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.
The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.
Whatever is worthy to be loved for anything is worthy of preservation. A wise and dispassionate legislator, if any such should ever arise among men, will not condemn to death him who has done or is likely to do more service than injury to society. Blocks and gibbets are the nearest objects with legislators, and their business is never with hopes or with virtues.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
Fear can be like a prison. It is, however, a self made prison. Many are imprisoned by fear. No one else can liberate them from this prison. Others may inspire them but they must liberate themselves.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.