Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.
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.
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.
I am an expert of electricity. My father occupied the chair of applied electricity at the state prison.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
Whatever is worthy to be loved for anything is worthy of preservation. A wise and dispassionate legislator, if any such should ever arise among men, will not condemn to death him who has done or is likely to do more service than injury to society. Blocks and gibbets are the nearest objects with legislators, and their business is never with hopes or with virtues.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
There are dreadful punishments enacted against thieves; but it were much better to make such good provisions, by which every man might be put in a method how to live, and so to be preserved from the fatal necessity of stealing and dying for it.
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 hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.