Three hundred years ago a prisoner condemned to the Tower of London carved on the wall of his cell this sentiment to keep up his spirits during his long imprisonment: “It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear adversity.”
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
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.
Adversities such as being homeless and going to prison has made many people stronger.
There is no peace because the making of peace is at least as costly as the making of war - at least as exigent, at least as disruptive, at least as liable to bring disgrace and prison and death in its wake.
I was put into jail as I was going to the shoemaker's to get a shoe which was mended. When I was let out the next morning, I proceeded to finish my errand, and, having put on my mended shoe, joined a huckleberry party, who were impatient to put themselves under my conduct; and in half an hour -- for the horse was soon tackled -- was in the midst of a huckleberry field, on one of our highest hills, two miles off, and then the State was nowhere to be seen.
If you treat prisoners well, they will be less angry, less inclined to violence inside prison, less likely to provoke violent actions by guards, less likely to have reason to file brutality lawsuits that cost taxpayers a bundle and waste administrators' time. And most important, well-treated prisoners will be less likely to leave prison angrier, more vicious and more inclined to criminal behavior than when they went in.
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.
When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.
Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization.
We shall not yield to violence. We shall not be deprived of union freedoms. We shall never agree with sending people to prison for their convictions.
We don't seem to be able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business.