Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their own kind.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization.
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.
Justice is that virtue of the soul which is distributive according to desert.
To try to raise a son from inside the prison walls is a very difficult thing. But I want to say to the world my son at 16 was the one who tried the most to get me out of prison.
Written laws are like spiders' webs, and will, like them, only entangle and hold the poor and weak, while the rich and powerful will easily break through them.
There are few better measures of the concern a society has for its individual members and its own well being than the way it handles criminals.
There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.
Care should be taken that the punishment does not exceed the guilt; and also that some men do not suffer for offenses for which others are not even indicted.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
Most people fancy themselves innocent of those crimes of which they cannot be convicted.
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.
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.”