If we look at Houston, which is a very environmentally toxic place, we find that it has one of the highest levels of young men going to prison and also among the highest levels of illiteracy in the country.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
Forgiveness, that noblest of all self-denial, is a virtue which he alone who can practise in himself can willingly believe in another.
We don't seem to be able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business.
Prosecution I have managed to avoid; but I have been arrested, charged in a police court, have refused to be bound over, and thereupon have been unconditionally released - to my great regret; for I have always wanted to know what going to prison was like.
There's no greater threat to our independence, to our cherished freedoms and personal liberties than the continual, relentless injection of these insidious poisons into our system. We must decide whether we cherish independence from drugs, without which there is no freedom.
Fear can be like a prison. It is, however, a self made prison. Many are imprisoned by fear. No one else can liberate them from this prison. Others may inspire them but they must liberate themselves.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
It is safer that a bad man should not be accused, than that he should be acquitted.
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.
Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
Justice is justice though it's always delayed and finally done only by mistake.
The number of laws is constantly growing in all countries and, owing to this, what is called crime is very often not a crime at all, for it contains no element of violence or harm.
It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.
On average, drug prisoners spend more time in federal prison than rapists, who often get out on early release because of the overcrowding in prison caused by the Drug War.
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.
Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.