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.
A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.
The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.
The only difference between me and my fellow actors is that I've spent more time in jail.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
I know not whether laws be right, or whether laws be wrong; All that we know who lie in gaol is that the wall is strong; And that each day is like a year, a year whose days are long.
Intellectual despair results in neither weakness nor dreams, but in violence. It is only a matter of knowing how to give vent to one's rage; whether one only wants to wander like madmen around prisons, or whether one wants to overturn them.
When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.
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.
Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
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.
It was only when I lay there on the rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not between states nor between social classes nor between political parties, but right through every human heart, through all human hearts. And that is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me, bless you, prison, for having been a part of my life.