To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
I can tell you this on a stack of Bibles: prisons are archaic, brutal, unregenerative, overcrowded hell holes where the inmates are treated like animals with absolutely not one humane thought given to what they are going to do once they are released. You're an animal in a cage and you're treated like one.
If two people fight on the street, whose fault is it? Who is the criminal? It is the government’s responsibility because the government has not educated the people to not make mistakes. The people have inadequate, incompetent education, so they make mistakes! It is such a fraud.
One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.
Prison, dungeons, blessed places where evil is impossible because they are the crossroads of all the evil in the world. One cannot commit evil in hell.
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
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.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
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.
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.
Here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to be to restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
A country is in a bad state, which is governed only by laws; because a thousand things occur for which laws cannot provide, and where authority ought to interpose.