Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass, Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron, Can be retentive to the strength of spirit; But life, being weary of these worldly bars, Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
I was in prison, and you came unto me. Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
~(Jesus Christ) Matthew 25:36, 40
They were being driven to a prison, through no fault of their own, in all probability for life. In comparison, how much easier it would be to walk to the gallows than to this tomb of living horrors!
The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.
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.
Every crime has, in the moment of its perpetration, Its own avenging angel--dark misgiving, An ominous sinking at the inmost heart.
Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.
Justice is justice though it's always delayed and finally done only by mistake.
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.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
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.
Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrist? And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists? And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air? Oh they're taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.