Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
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.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.
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.
It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.
Money will determine whether the accused goes to prison or walks out of the courtroom a free man.
By noiselessly going to a prison a civil-resister ensures a calm atmosphere.
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.
A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
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.
Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
If you strike at, imprison, or kill us, out of our prisons or graves we will still evoke a spirit that will thwart you, and perhaps, raise a force that will destroy you! We defy you! Do your worst!
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.