The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
Here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to be to restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
I can tell you this on a stack of Bibles: prisons are archaic, brutal, unregenerative, overcrowded hell holes where the inmates are treated like animals with absolutely not one humane thought given to what they are going to do once they are released. You're an animal in a cage and you're treated like one.
The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.
He had drawn many a thousand of these rations in prisons and camps, and though he'd never had an opportunity to weight them on scales, and although, being a man of timid nature, he knew no way of standing up for his rights, he, like every other prisoner, had discovered long ago that honest weight was never to be found in the bread-cutting. There was short weight in every ration. The only point was how short. So every day you took a look to soothe your soul - today, maybe, they haven't snitched any.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.
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.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
Justice is that virtue of the soul which is distributive according to desert.
Written laws are like spiders' webs, and will, like them, only entangle and hold the poor and weak, while the rich and powerful will easily break through them.
To try to raise a son from inside the prison walls is a very difficult thing. But I want to say to the world my son at 16 was the one who tried the most to get me out of prison.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.