The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.
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.
Civilization is maintained by a very few people in a small number of places and we need only some bombs and a few prisons to blot it out altogether.
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.
A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards, as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
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.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.