The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
To be in prison so long, it's difficult to remember exactly what you did to get there.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
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.
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.
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.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
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.
If two people fight on the street, whose fault is it? Who is the criminal? It is the government’s responsibility because the government has not educated the people to not make mistakes. The people have inadequate, incompetent education, so they make mistakes! It is such a fraud.
It is impossible to go through life without trust: That is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
The torment of human frustration, whatever its immediate cause, is the knowledge that the self is in prison, its vital force and 'mangled mind' leaking away in lonely, wasteful self-conflict.
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.