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Prison Quotes

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.

H. L. Mencken
Total votes: 28

When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.

Mike Tyson
Total votes: 28

It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.

Sir William Blackstone
Total votes: 21

Self is the only prison that can bind the soul.

Henry Van Dyke
Total votes: 26

Any punishment that does not correct, that can merely rouse rebellion in whoever has to endure it, is a piece of gratuitous infamy which makes those who impose it more guilty in the eyes of humanity, good sense and reason, nay a hundred times more guilty than the victim on whom the punishment is inflicted.

Marquis de Sade
Total votes: 17

Clemency alone makes us equal to the gods.

Claudian
Total votes: 26

So justice while she winks at crimes, Stumbles on innocence sometimes.

Samuel Butler
Total votes: 25

The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.

Oliver Goldsmith
Total votes: 25

Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them.

Edward R. Murrow
Total votes: 23

Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Total votes: 27

It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.

Sir Philip Sidney
Total votes: 17

If we look at Houston, which is a very environmentally toxic place, we find that it has one of the highest levels of young men going to prison and also among the highest levels of illiteracy in the country.

Danny Glover
Total votes: 24

Every crime has, in the moment of its perpetration, Its own avenging angel--dark misgiving, An ominous sinking at the inmost heart.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Total votes: 17

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.

Raymond Chandler
Total votes: 27

Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton.

Dan Duva
Total votes: 30

Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
~James Bell

James Bell
Total votes: 21

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.

Michel Foucault
Total votes: 21

One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.

Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenal)
Total votes: 25

What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.

H. L. Mencken
Total votes: 39

Body is a home, a prison and a grave.

James Runcie
Total votes: 19

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.

Reverend Martin Niemoeller
Total votes: 27

One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.

Oscar Wilde
Total votes: 27


While crime is punished it yet increases.

Seneca
Total votes: 20

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.

Kent Willis
Total votes: 29

It is true you cannot eat freedom and you cannot power machinery with democracy. But then neither can political prisoners turn on the light in the cells of a dictatorship.

Corazon Aquino
Total votes: 35