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Prison Quotes

The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
 

Bertrand Russell
Total votes: 74

To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.

William Gilmore Simms
Total votes: 36

Justice renders to every one his due.

Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero)
Total votes: 34

The idea that the sole aim of punishment is to prevent crime is obviously grounded upon the theory that crime can be prevented, which is almost as dubious as the notion that poverty can be prevented.

H. L. Mencken
Total votes: 38

I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.

Oscar Wilde
Total votes: 35

Society prepares the crime; the criminal commits it.

Henry Thomas Buckle
Total votes: 34

A country is in a bad state, which is governed only by laws; because a thousand things occur for which laws cannot provide, and where authority ought to interpose.

Samuel Johnson
Total votes: 41

You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.

Bronislaw Malinowski
Total votes: 43

Justice is justice though it's always delayed and finally done only by mistake.

George Bernard Shaw
Total votes: 36


When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.

Mike Tyson
Total votes: 33

You stuff somebody into the American dream, and it becomes a prison.

Craig L. Thomas
Total votes: 29

Justice is that virtue of the soul which is distributive according to desert.

Aristotle
Total votes: 42

One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.

Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenal)
Total votes: 41

He had drawn many a thousand of these rations in prisons and camps, and though he'd never had an opportunity to weight them on scales, and although, being a man of timid nature, he knew no way of standing up for his rights, he, like every other prisoner, had discovered long ago that honest weight was never to be found in the bread-cutting. There was short weight in every ration. The only point was how short. So every day you took a look to soothe your soul - today, maybe, they haven't snitched any.

Aleksander Solzhenitsyn
Total votes: 36

Hanging was the worst use a man could be put to.

Sir Henry Wotton
Total votes: 38

In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.

Geoffrey Fisher
Total votes: 29

What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.

H. L. Mencken
Total votes: 52

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.

Raymond Chandler
Total votes: 33

Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful.

Friedrich Nietzsche
Total votes: 43

A man who has no excuse for a crime, is indeed defenseless!

Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton
Total votes: 54

No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.

Jeremy Taylor
Total votes: 45


We shall fight against them, throw them in prisons and destroy them.

Vladimir Putin
Total votes: 30

He who does not prevent a crime when he can, encourages it.

Seneca
Total votes: 39

Show me the prison, Show me the jail, Show me the prisoner whose life has gone stale. And I'll show you a young man with so many reasons why And there, but for fortune, go you or I.

Phil Ochs
Total votes: 21

A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards, as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.

Ludwig Wittgenstein
Total votes: 26