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Prison Quotes

The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.

Stendhal (pseudonym Henri Beyle)
Total votes: 64

Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Total votes: 41

The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.

Mazo de la Roche
Total votes: 33

We who live in prison, and in whose lives there is no event but sorrow, have to measure time by throbs of pain, and the record of bitter moments.

Oscar Wilde
Total votes: 48

There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.

Seneca
Total votes: 50

Law is merely the expression of the will of the strongest for the time being, and therefore laws have no fixity, but shift from generation to generation.

Henry Brooks Adams
Total votes: 40

I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.

Mary Harris Jones
Total votes: 73

Pardon is the virtue of victory.

Giuseppe Mazzini
Total votes: 76

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.

P. D. Ouspensky
Total votes: 35

I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Total votes: 31

Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.

Moslih Eddin
Total votes: 56

Three hundred years ago a prisoner condemned to the Tower of London carved on the wall of his cell this sentiment to keep up his spirits during his long imprisonment: “It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear adversity.”

Father James Keller
Total votes: 44

The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.

Henry Ward Beecher
Total votes: 51


Federal prison, if you get any of it, you're going to have to do 85% of it. And the reason why I called it that is because I had a friend who got sent to the federal joint and his whole... it wasn't about him being in jail. He cried about the 85%.

Mike Epps
Total votes: 45

One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.

Bertrand Russell
Total votes: 43

The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.

David Herbert Lawrence
Total votes: 36

One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.

Oscar Wilde
Total votes: 40

Once we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our mind, our duty is to furnish it well.

Peter Ustinov
Total votes: 43

Self is the only prison that can bind the soul.

Henry Van Dyke
You voted 2. Total votes: 43

There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.

William Glasser
Total votes: 39

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.

Danny Glover
Total votes: 43

Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
~James Bell

James Bell
Total votes: 33

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.

Henry David Thoreau
Total votes: 36

Prison continues, on those who are entrusted to it, a work begun elsewhere, which the whole of society pursues on each individual through innumerable mechanisms of discipline.

Michel Foucault
Total votes: 36

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.

Laurence Housman
Total votes: 46