One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
I know not whether laws be right, or whether laws be wrong; All that we know who lie in gaol is that the wall is strong; And that each day is like a year, a year whose days are long.
When is conduct a crime, and when is a crime not a crime? When Somebody Up There -- a monarch, a dictator, a Pope, a legislator -- so decrees.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
One of the problems that the marijuana reform movement consistently faces is that everyone wants to talk about what marijuana does, but no one ever wants to look at what marijuana prohibition does. Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.
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.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
No man survives when freedom fails. The best men rot in filthy jails, and those who cry 'appease, appease' are hanged by those they tried to please.
The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.