He was a first-time nonviolent possible offender, ... And under the mandatory minimums, he was put in prison for 15 years. Not only does the punishment not fit the crime, but the mandatory minimums don't give judges any discretion to look at the background of the case, to read into the specifics of the case. I don't know a judge who really is in favor of the mandatory minimums.
Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass, Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron, Can be retentive to the strength of spirit; But life, being weary of these worldly bars, Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
The contagion of crime is like that of the plague. Criminals collected together corrupt each other; they are worse than ever when at the termination of their punishment they re-enter society.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.
There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.
It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their own kind.
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.
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.
We're in a war. People who blast some pot on a casual basis are guilty of treason.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
There are dreadful punishments enacted against thieves; but it were much better to make such good provisions, by which every man might be put in a method how to live, and so to be preserved from the fatal necessity of stealing and dying for it.