The thoughts of a prisoner - they're not free either. They keep returning to the same things.
We who live in prison, and in whose lives there is no event but sorrow, have to measure time by throbs of pain, and the record of bitter moments.
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.
It is impossible to go through life without trust: That is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.
I can tell you this on a stack of Bibles: prisons are archaic, brutal, unregenerative, overcrowded hell holes where the inmates are treated like animals with absolutely not one humane thought given to what they are going to do once they are released. You're an animal in a cage and you're treated like one.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.
The difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion is the thickness of a prison walls.
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.
History is full of people who went to prison or were burned at the stake for proclaiming their ideas. Society has always defended itself.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
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.
On a planet that increasingly resembles one huge Maximum Security prison, the only intelligent choice is to plan a jail break.
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.
I am an expert of electricity. My father occupied the chair of applied electricity at the state prison.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
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.
I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
By noiselessly going to a prison a civil-resister ensures a calm atmosphere.