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.
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.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton.
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.
Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them.
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
It is impossible to go through life without trust: That is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.
Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
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.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
The only effect of public punishment is to show the rabble how bravely it can be borne; and that every one who hath lost a toe-nail hath suffered worse.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
Any punishment that does not correct, that can merely rouse rebellion in whoever has to endure it, is a piece of gratuitous infamy which makes those who impose it more guilty in the eyes of humanity, good sense and reason, nay a hundred times more guilty than the victim on whom the punishment is inflicted.
On a planet that increasingly resembles one huge Maximum Security prison, the only intelligent choice is to plan a jail break.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.