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Prison Quotes

The uneven impact of actual enforcement measures tends to mirror and reinforce more general patterns of discrimination (along socioeconomic, racial and ethnic, sexual, and perhaps generational lines) within the society. As a consequence, such enforcement (ineffective as it may be in producing conformity) almost certainly reinforces feelings of alienation already prevalent within major segments of the population.

Edwin M. Schur
You voted 4. Total votes: 12

If you treat prisoners well, they will be less angry, less inclined to violence inside prison, less likely to provoke violent actions by guards, less likely to have reason to file brutality lawsuits that cost taxpayers a bundle and waste administrators' time. And most important, well-treated prisoners will be less likely to leave prison angrier, more vicious and more inclined to criminal behavior than when they went in.

Frank Wood, Commissioner of Corrections, Minnesota
Total votes: 21

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.

Aleksander Solzhenitsyn
Total votes: 18

Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton.

Dan Duva
Total votes: 25

We are prisoners of ideas.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Total votes: 23

In jail a man has no personality. He is a minor disposal problem and a few entries on reports. Nobody cares who loves or hates him, what he looks like, what he did with his life. Nobody reacts to him unless he gives trouble. Nobody abuses him. All that is asked of him is that he go quietly to the right cell and remain quiet when he gets there. There is nothing to fight against, nothing to be mad at. The jailers are quiet men without animosity or sadism.

Raymond Chandler
Total votes: 20

We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Total votes: 19

A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.

Ouida (pseudonym of Marie Louise de la Ramee)
Total votes: 12

What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.

H. L. Mencken
Total votes: 28

Faults of the head are punished in this world, those of the heart in another; but as most of our vices are compound, so also is their punishment.

Charles Caleb Colton
Total votes: 18

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.

Henry Brooks Adams
Total votes: 18

Nelson Mandela and Malcolm X came out of prison stronger.

Philip Emeagwali
Total votes: 15


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.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Total votes: 15

Two men look out the same prison bars; one sees mud and the other stars.

Frederick Langbridge
Total votes: 25

Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future lives and crimes to society.

Daniel Webster
Total votes: 19

Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.

Thomas Denman
Total votes: 15

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

(Jesus Christ) Matthew 25:36, 40
Total votes: 21

I have been studying how I may compare this prison where I live unto the world; Shut up in the prison of their own consciences.

James Usher
Total votes: 15

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.

Georges Bataille
Total votes: 22

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.

Henry David Thoreau
Total votes: 14

Civilization is maintained by a very few people in a small number of places and we need only some bombs and a few prisons to blot it out altogether.

Cyril Connolly
Total votes: 17

Crimes generally punish themselves.

Oliver Goldsmith
Total votes: 23

Pardon is the virtue of victory.

Giuseppe Mazzini
Total votes: 15

The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.

Oliver Goldsmith
Total votes: 17

I have never been contained except I made the prison.

Mary Evans
Total votes: 18