The thoughts of a prisoner - they're not free either. They keep returning to the same things.
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.
Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.
By noiselessly going to a prison a civil-resister ensures a calm atmosphere.
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.
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.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
It is safer that a bad man should not be accused, than that he should be acquitted.
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.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
Justice is that virtue of the soul which is distributive according to desert.
Care should be taken that the punishment does not exceed the guilt; and also that some men do not suffer for offenses for which others are not even indicted.
The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.