Every instance of a man's suffering the penalty of the law is an instance of the failure of that penalty in effecting its purpose, which is to deter.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.
It was only when I lay there on the rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not between states nor between social classes nor between political parties, but right through every human heart, through all human hearts. And that is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me, bless you, prison, for having been a part of my life.
The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
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.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
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.
Faults of the head are punished in this world, those of the heart in another; but as most of our vices are compound, so also is their punishment.
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
I am an expert of electricity. My father occupied the chair of applied electricity at the state prison.