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Prison Quotes

Punishment, that is the justice for the unjust.
 

Saint Aurelius Augustine (Augustine of Hippo)
Total votes: 61

Prison, dungeons, blessed places where evil is impossible because they are the crossroads of all the evil in the world. One cannot commit evil in hell.

Jean Genet
Total votes: 40

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.

Charles Caleb Colton
Total votes: 47

The virtue of justice consists in moderation, as regulated by wisdom.

Aristotle
Total votes: 40

When is conduct a crime, and when is a crime not a crime? When Somebody Up There -- a monarch, a dictator, a Pope, a legislator -- so decrees.

Jessica Mitford
Total votes: 40

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.”

Father James Keller
Total votes: 42

No man survives when freedom fails. The best men rot in filthy jails, and those who cry 'appease, appease' are hanged by those they tried to please.

Hiram Mann
Total votes: 33

Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.

Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso)
Total votes: 51

No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.

Carrie Chapman Catt
Total votes: 40

The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.

Mazo de la Roche
Total votes: 33

America is the land of the second chance – and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.

George W. Bush
Total votes: 30

I can work for the Lord in or out of prison.

Charles W. Colson
Total votes: 34

Only free men can negotiate. Prisoners cannot enter into contracts.

Nelson Mandela
Total votes: 47

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.

Reverend Martin Niemoeller
Total votes: 43

A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.

H. L. Mencken
Total votes: 38

Money will determine whether the accused goes to prison or walks out of the courtroom a free man.

Johnnie Cochran
Total votes: 40

In jail a man has no personality. He is a minor disposal problem and a few entries on reports. Nobody cares who loves or hates him, what he looks like, what he did with his life. Nobody reacts to him unless he gives trouble. Nobody abuses him. All that is asked of him is that he go quietly to the right cell and remain quiet when he gets there. There is nothing to fight against, nothing to be mad at. The jailers are quiet men without animosity or sadism.

Raymond Chandler
Total votes: 40

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.

Edwin M. Schur
Total votes: 33

Steal goods and you’ll go to prison, steal lands and you are a king.

Japanese Proverb
Total votes: 46


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.

Walter Savage Landor
Total votes: 41

The contagion of crime is like that of the plague. Criminals collected together corrupt each other; they are worse than ever when at the termination of their punishment they re-enter society.

Napoleon Bonaparte
Total votes: 43

The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.

David Herbert Lawrence
Total votes: 33

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.

Henry David Thoreau
Total votes: 34

Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law.

Oliver Goldsmith
Total votes: 35

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.

Marquis de Sade
Total votes: 34