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. I did not for a moment feel confined, and the walls seemed a great waste of stone and mortar.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
Women now have choices. They can be married, not married, have a job, not have a job, be married with children, unmarried with children. Men have the same choice we've always had: work, or prison.
The thoughts of a prisoner - they're not free either. They keep returning to the same things.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
There are few better measures of the concern a society has for its individual members and its own well being than the way it handles criminals.
History is full of people who went to prison or were burned at the stake for proclaiming their ideas. Society has always defended itself.
It is not at the table, but in prison, that you learn who your true friends are.
The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass, Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron, Can be retentive to the strength of spirit; But life, being weary of these worldly bars, Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
Justice is justice though it's always delayed and finally done only by mistake.