It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.
The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.
The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.
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.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
Adversities such as being homeless and going to prison has made many people stronger.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.
The only difference between me and my fellow actors is that I've spent more time in jail.
I have paid no poll-tax for six years. I was put into a jail once on this account, for one night; and, as I stood considering the walls of solid stone, I could not help being struck with the foolishness of that institution which treated me as if I were mere flesh and blood and bones, to be locked up...I saw that, if there was a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was a still more difficult one to climb or break through, before they could get to be as free as I was.
The number of laws is constantly growing in all countries and, owing to this, what is called crime is very often not a crime at all, for it contains no element of violence or harm.
Justice is that virtue of the soul which is distributive according to desert.
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.
Written laws are like spiders' webs, and will, like them, only entangle and hold the poor and weak, while the rich and powerful will easily break through them.
I know not whether laws be right, or whether laws be wrong; All that we know who lie in gaol is that the wall is strong; And that each day is like a year, a year whose days are long.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
I am certain that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.