The idea that the sole aim of punishment is to prevent crime is obviously grounded upon the theory that crime can be prevented, which is almost as dubious as the notion that poverty can be prevented.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
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.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
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.
They were being driven to a prison, through no fault of their own, in all probability for life. In comparison, how much easier it would be to walk to the gallows than to this tomb of living horrors!
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.
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.
When you are younger you get blamed for crimes you never committed and when you're older you begin to get credit for virtues you never possessed. It evens itself out.
Every instance of a man's suffering the penalty of the law is an instance of the failure of that penalty in effecting its purpose, which is to deter.
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.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
Whatever you think of de Sade, he was a complex figure and we should not look for easy answers with him. He was, strangely perhaps, against the death penalty, and he was never put in prison for murders or anything like that.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.
I just remember that disturbing feeling of walking into that prison, the complete loss of privacy, the complete loss of stimulation, dignity.