Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
He was a first-time nonviolent possible offender, ... And under the mandatory minimums, he was put in prison for 15 years. Not only does the punishment not fit the crime, but the mandatory minimums don't give judges any discretion to look at the background of the case, to read into the specifics of the case. I don't know a judge who really is in favor of the mandatory minimums.
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.
Most people fancy themselves innocent of those crimes of which they cannot be convicted.
I know not whether laws be right, or whether laws be wrong; All that we know who lie in gaol is that the wall is strong; And that each day is like a year, a year whose days are long.
To be in prison so long, it's difficult to remember exactly what you did to get there.
One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking…is freedom.
Forgiveness, that noblest of all self-denial, is a virtue which he alone who can practise in himself can willingly believe in another.
It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.
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.
When you are younger you get blamed for crimes you never committed and when you're older you begin to get credit for virtues you never possessed. It evens itself out.
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.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.