In jail a man has no personality. He is a minor disposal problem and a few entries on reports. Nobody cares who loves or hates him, what he looks like, what he did with his life. Nobody reacts to him unless he gives trouble. Nobody abuses him. All that is asked of him is that he go quietly to the right cell and remain quiet when he gets there. There is nothing to fight against, nothing to be mad at. The jailers are quiet men without animosity or sadism.
The best situation of all, and one frequently utilized, is for jails and prisons to allow volunteer ministers of all faiths to enter prisons and offer their services to the inmates who want them. That way, the religious needs of inmates are met but without government funds being spent.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
Taught from infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
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.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
A country is in a bad state, which is governed only by laws; because a thousand things occur for which laws cannot provide, and where authority ought to interpose.
Once we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our mind, our duty is to furnish it well.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
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.”
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.