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.
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.
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.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.
There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.
It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.
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.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
It is not at the table, but in prison, that you learn who your true friends are.
Experts and the educated elite have replaced what worked with what sounded good. Society was far more civilized before they took over our schools, prisons, welfare programs, police departments and courts. It's high time we ran these people out of our lives and went back to common sense.
I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.
The thoughts of a prisoner - they're not free either. They keep returning to the same things.
It is safer that a bad man should not be accused, than that he should be acquitted.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
Every crime has, in the moment of its perpetration, Its own avenging angel--dark misgiving, An ominous sinking at the inmost heart.