I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
Since 1957, black people have experienced double-digit unemployment - in good times and bad times. Look at the population of African Americans in prison. They represent more than half the population of prisoners in the country, 55 percent of those on death row.
When is conduct a crime, and when is a crime not a crime? When Somebody Up There -- a monarch, a dictator, a Pope, a legislator -- so decrees.
Whatever is worthy to be loved for anything is worthy of preservation. A wise and dispassionate legislator, if any such should ever arise among men, will not condemn to death him who has done or is likely to do more service than injury to society. Blocks and gibbets are the nearest objects with legislators, and their business is never with hopes or with virtues.
Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
The thoughts of a prisoner - they're not free either. They keep returning to the same things.
I have paid no poll-tax for six years. I was put into a jail once on this account, for one night; and, as I stood considering the walls of solid stone, I could not help being struck with the foolishness of that institution which treated me as if I were mere flesh and blood and bones, to be locked up...I saw that, if there was a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was a still more difficult one to climb or break through, before they could get to be as free as I was.
The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.
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.
To be in prison so long, it's difficult to remember exactly what you did to get there.
The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
We shall not yield to violence. We shall not be deprived of union freedoms. We shall never agree with sending people to prison for their convictions.