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.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.
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.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
The contagion of crime is like that of the plague. Criminals collected together corrupt each other; they are worse than ever when at the termination of their punishment they re-enter society.
There's no greater threat to our independence, to our cherished freedoms and personal liberties than the continual, relentless injection of these insidious poisons into our system. We must decide whether we cherish independence from drugs, without which there is no freedom.
Governments have tried to stop crime through punishment throughout the ages, but crime continued in the past punishment remains. Crime can only be stopped through a preventive approach in the schools. You teach the students Transcendental Meditation, and right away they’ll begin using their full brain physiology sensible and they will not get sidetracked into wrong things.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
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.
If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking…is freedom.
The torment of human frustration, whatever its immediate cause, is the knowledge that the self is in prison, its vital force and 'mangled mind' leaking away in lonely, wasteful self-conflict.
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.
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.