Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
Since 1957, black people have experienced double-digit unemployment - in good times and bad times. Look at the population of African Americans in prison. They represent more than half the population of prisoners in the country, 55 percent of those on death row.
Law is merely the expression of the will of the strongest for the time being, and therefore laws have no fixity, but shift from generation to generation.
The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
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.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
He had drawn many a thousand of these rations in prisons and camps, and though he'd never had an opportunity to weight them on scales, and although, being a man of timid nature, he knew no way of standing up for his rights, he, like every other prisoner, had discovered long ago that honest weight was never to be found in the bread-cutting. There was short weight in every ration. The only point was how short. So every day you took a look to soothe your soul - today, maybe, they haven't snitched any.
We who live in prison, and in whose lives there is no event but sorrow, have to measure time by throbs of pain, and the record of bitter moments.
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.
If we look at Houston, which is a very environmentally toxic place, we find that it has one of the highest levels of young men going to prison and also among the highest levels of illiteracy in the country.
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.
Adversities such as being homeless and going to prison has made many people stronger.
The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.
I can tell you this on a stack of Bibles: prisons are archaic, brutal, unregenerative, overcrowded hell holes where the inmates are treated like animals with absolutely not one humane thought given to what they are going to do once they are released. You're an animal in a cage and you're treated like one.