Civilization is maintained by a very few people in a small number of places and we need only some bombs and a few prisons to blot it out altogether.
Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrist? And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists? And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air? Oh they're taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.
It is impossible to go through life without trust: That is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
Prison makes you a better judge of character. You pick up on people much faster.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
The only effect of public punishment is to show the rabble how bravely it can be borne; and that every one who hath lost a toe-nail hath suffered worse.
The only difference between me and my fellow actors is that I've spent more time in jail.
History is full of people who went to prison or were burned at the stake for proclaiming their ideas. Society has always defended itself.