I have paid no poll-tax for six years. I was put into a jail once on this account, for one night; and, as I stood considering the walls of solid stone, I could not help being struck with the foolishness of that institution which treated me as if I were mere flesh and blood and bones, to be locked up...I saw that, if there was a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was a still more difficult one to climb or break through, before they could get to be as free as I was.
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.
Intellectual despair results in neither weakness nor dreams, but in violence. It is only a matter of knowing how to give vent to one's rage; whether one only wants to wander like madmen around prisons, or whether one wants to overturn them.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
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 is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.
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.”
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
Justice is that virtue of the soul which is distributive according to desert.
The only difference between me and my fellow actors is that I've spent more time in jail.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
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.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
The number of laws is constantly growing in all countries and, owing to this, what is called crime is very often not a crime at all, for it contains no element of violence or harm.
The best situation of all, and one frequently utilized, is for jails and prisons to allow volunteer ministers of all faiths to enter prisons and offer their services to the inmates who want them. That way, the religious needs of inmates are met but without government funds being spent.