Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
By noiselessly going to a prison a civil-resister ensures a calm atmosphere.
It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.
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.
One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
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 a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
When is conduct a crime, and when is a crime not a crime? When Somebody Up There -- a monarch, a dictator, a Pope, a legislator -- so decrees.
Forgiveness, that noblest of all self-denial, is a virtue which he alone who can practise in himself can willingly believe in another.
Every crime has, in the moment of its perpetration, Its own avenging angel--dark misgiving, An ominous sinking at the inmost heart.
The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.
If you treat prisoners well, they will be less angry, less inclined to violence inside prison, less likely to provoke violent actions by guards, less likely to have reason to file brutality lawsuits that cost taxpayers a bundle and waste administrators' time. And most important, well-treated prisoners will be less likely to leave prison angrier, more vicious and more inclined to criminal behavior than when they went in.
The torment of human frustration, whatever its immediate cause, is the knowledge that the self is in prison, its vital force and 'mangled mind' leaking away in lonely, wasteful self-conflict.
I am certain that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.