I never told a victim story about my imprisonment. Instead, I told a transformation story - about how prison changed my outlook, about how I saw that communication, truth, and trust are at the heart of power.
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.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
Prison continues, on those who are entrusted to it, a work begun elsewhere, which the whole of society pursues on each individual through innumerable mechanisms of discipline.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
Faults of the head are punished in this world, those of the heart in another; but as most of our vices are compound, so also is their punishment.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton.
It was only when I lay there on the rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not between states nor between social classes nor between political parties, but right through every human heart, through all human hearts. And that is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me, bless you, prison, for having been a part of my life.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
The uneven impact of actual enforcement measures tends to mirror and reinforce more general patterns of discrimination (along socioeconomic, racial and ethnic, sexual, and perhaps generational lines) within the society. As a consequence, such enforcement (ineffective as it may be in producing conformity) almost certainly reinforces feelings of alienation already prevalent within major segments of the population.
It is safer that a bad man should not be accused, than that he should be acquitted.
Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrist? And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists? And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air? Oh they're taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.
Justice is that virtue of the soul which is distributive according to desert.