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Prison Quotes

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: 14

We are prisoners of ideas.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Total votes: 16

Body is a home, a prison and a grave.

James Runcie
Total votes: 10

I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Total votes: 12

Whatever you think of de Sade, he was a complex figure and we should not look for easy answers with him. He was, strangely perhaps, against the death penalty, and he was never put in prison for murders or anything like that.

Philip Kaufman
Total votes: 8

History is full of people who went to prison or were burned at the stake for proclaiming their ideas. Society has always defended itself.

Naguib Mahfouz
Total votes: 14

I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.

Mary Harris Jones
Total votes: 22

Women now have choices. They can be married, not married, have a job, not have a job, be married with children, unmarried with children. Men have the same choice we've always had: work, or prison.

Tim Allen
Total votes: 10

The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.

Stendhal (pseudonym Henri Beyle)
Total votes: 13

Well, I don't think prisons are the answer to everything, obviously.

Judge Mills Lane
Total votes: 13


Karl Menninger
Total votes: 12

There are few better measures of the concern a society has for its individual members and its own well being than the way it handles criminals.

Ramsey Clark
Total votes: 17

It is not at the table, but in prison, that you learn who your true friends are.

Serbian Proverb
Total votes: 17

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: 15

If you share the crime of your friend, you make it your own.

Syrus (Publilius Syrus)
Total votes: 12

Hard cases, it is said, make bad law.

Lord John Campbell
Total votes: 23

We have initiated programs for re-entry offenders, since some 500,000 to 600,000 offenders will come out of prison each year for the next three or four years. We want to have positive alternatives when they come back to the community.

Janet Reno
Total votes: 15

Governments have tried to stop crime through punishment throughout the ages, but crime continued in the past punishment remains. Crime can only be stopped through a preventive approach in the schools. You teach the students Transcendental Meditation, and right away they’ll begin using their full brain physiology sensible and they will not get sidetracked into wrong things.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Total votes: 15

America is the land of the second chance – and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.

George W. Bush
Total votes: 12

They're not supposed to show prison films in prison. Especially ones that are about escaping.

Steve Buscemi
Total votes: 14


Federal prison, if you get any of it, you're going to have to do 85% of it. And the reason why I called it that is because I had a friend who got sent to the federal joint and his whole... it wasn't about him being in jail. He cried about the 85%.

Mike Epps
Total votes: 16

The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.

Clarence S. Darrow
Total votes: 9

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.

Corazon Aquino
Total votes: 20

Hanging was the worst use a man could be put to.

Sir Henry Wotton
Total votes: 17

The difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion is the thickness of a prison walls.

Denis Healey
Total votes: 13