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Prison Quotes

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.

Elizabeth Drew
Total votes: 34

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: 29

If it's near dinner-time, the foreman takes out his watch when the jury has retired, and says: "Dear me, gentlemen, ten minutes to five, I declare! I dine at five, gentlemen." "So do I," says everybody else, except two men who ought to have dined at three and seem more than half disposed to stand out in consequence. The foreman smiles, and puts up his watch:--"Well, gentlemen, what do we say, plaintiff or defendant, gentlemen?

Charles Dickens
Total votes: 28

The most anxious man in a prison is the governor.

George Bernard Shaw
Total votes: 31

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.

Hiram Mann
Total votes: 29

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: 45

A variety in punishment is of utility, as well as a proportion.

George Washington
Total votes: 21

If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.

Paul Eldridge
Total votes: 29

The punishment can be remitted; the crime is everlasting.

Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso)
Total votes: 31

In the halls of justice, the only justice is in the halls.

Lenny Bruce
Total votes: 31

We who live in prison, and in whose lives there is no event but sorrow, have to measure time by throbs of pain, and the record of bitter moments.

Oscar Wilde
Total votes: 30

A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards, as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.

Ludwig Wittgenstein
Total votes: 23

If it's near dinner-time, the foreman takes out his watch when the jury has retired, and says: "Dear me, gentlemen, ten minutes to five, I declare! I dine at five, gentlemen." "So do I," says everybody else, except two men who ought to have dined at three and seem more than half disposed to stand out in consequence. The foreman smiles, and puts up his watch:--"Well, gentlemen, what do we say, plaintiff or defendant, gentlemen?

Charles Dickens
Total votes: 24

The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.

Henry Ward Beecher
Total votes: 33

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: 40

Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.

Marcus Porcius Cato
Total votes: 31

Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.

Antonin Scalia
Total votes: 28

It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.

Sir Philip Sidney
Total votes: 19

Only free men can negotiate. Prisoners cannot enter into contracts.

Nelson Mandela
Total votes: 27

You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.

Bronislaw Malinowski
Total votes: 33

I have been studying how I may compare This prison where I live unto the world; And, for because the world is populous, And here is not a creature but myself, I cannot do it. Yet I'll hammer it out.

William Shakespeare
Total votes: 37

A sick person is a prisoner.

Yemeni Proverb
Total votes: 23

Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.

Robert Rice
Total votes: 31


Whatever is worthy to be loved for anything is worthy of preservation. A wise and dispassionate legislator, if any such should ever arise among men, will not condemn to death him who has done or is likely to do more service than injury to society. Blocks and gibbets are the nearest objects with legislators, and their business is never with hopes or with virtues.

Walter Savage Landor
Total votes: 29

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.

Richard Cowan
Total votes: 26