Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
Prison continues, on those who are entrusted to it, a work begun elsewhere, which the whole of society pursues on each individual through innumerable mechanisms of discipline.
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.
The only difference between me and my fellow actors is that I've spent more time in jail.
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.
The best situation of all, and one frequently utilized, is for jails and prisons to allow volunteer ministers of all faiths to enter prisons and offer their services to the inmates who want them. That way, the religious needs of inmates are met but without government funds being spent.
It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
The only effect of public punishment is to show the rabble how bravely it can be borne; and that every one who hath lost a toe-nail hath suffered worse.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
The torment of human frustration, whatever its immediate cause, is the knowledge that the self is in prison, its vital force and 'mangled mind' leaking away in lonely, wasteful self-conflict.
History is full of people who went to prison or were burned at the stake for proclaiming their ideas. Society has always defended itself.
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.
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.
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.