The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
There is no peace because the making of peace is at least as costly as the making of war - at least as exigent, at least as disruptive, at least as liable to bring disgrace and prison and death in its wake.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
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!
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 world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.
A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards, as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.
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.
One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.
It is true you cannot eat freedom and you cannot power machinery with democracy. But then neither can political prisoners turn on the light in the cells of a dictatorship.
The idea that the sole aim of punishment is to prevent crime is obviously grounded upon the theory that crime can be prevented, which is almost as dubious as the notion that poverty can be prevented.
Whatever is worthy to be loved for anything is worthy of preservation. A wise and dispassionate legislator, if any such should ever arise among men, will not condemn to death him who has done or is likely to do more service than injury to society. Blocks and gibbets are the nearest objects with legislators, and their business is never with hopes or with virtues.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
On a planet that increasingly resembles one huge Maximum Security prison, the only intelligent choice is to plan a jail break.