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Prison Quotes

Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Total votes: 27

Punishment, that is the justice for the unjust.
 

Saint Aurelius Augustine (Augustine of Hippo)
Total votes: 41

If you treat prisoners well, they will be less angry, less inclined to violence inside prison, less likely to provoke violent actions by guards, less likely to have reason to file brutality lawsuits that cost taxpayers a bundle and waste administrators' time. And most important, well-treated prisoners will be less likely to leave prison angrier, more vicious and more inclined to criminal behavior than when they went in.

Frank Wood, Commissioner of Corrections, Minnesota
Total votes: 28

The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.

David Herbert Lawrence
Total votes: 21

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.

Philip Kaufman
Total votes: 22

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.

Marquis de Sade
Total votes: 18

Laws do not persuade just because they threaten.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Total votes: 28

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.

Thomas Moore
Total votes: 30

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: 25

Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
~James Bell

James Bell
Total votes: 22

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: 24

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.

Aleksander Solzhenitsyn
Total votes: 25

I have been studying how I may compare this prison where I live unto the world; Shut up in the prison of their own consciences.

James Usher
Total votes: 24

Intellectual despair results in neither weakness nor dreams, but in violence. It is only a matter of knowing how to give vent to one's rage; whether one only wants to wander like madmen around prisons, or whether one wants to overturn them.

Georges Bataille
Total votes: 29

Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.

Germaine Greer
Total votes: 37

The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.

Oliver Goldsmith
Total votes: 29

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.

Mary Harris Jones
Total votes: 33

As we grow in wisdom, we pardon more freely.

Madame de Stael
Total votes: 27

Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.

Jean Rostand
Total votes: 23


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

Vladimir Putin
Total votes: 20

I was put into jail as I was going to the shoemaker's to get a shoe which was mended. When I was let out the next morning, I proceeded to finish my errand, and, having put on my mended shoe, joined a huckleberry party, who were impatient to put themselves under my conduct; and in half an hour -- for the horse was soon tackled -- was in the midst of a huckleberry field, on one of our highest hills, two miles off, and then the State was nowhere to be seen.

Henry David Thoreau
Total votes: 32

The severest justice may not always be the best policy.

Abraham Lincoln
Total votes: 21

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.

Henry David Thoreau
Total votes: 19

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: 30

Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass, Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron, Can be retentive to the strength of spirit; But life, being weary of these worldly bars, Never lacks power to dismiss itself.

William Shakespeare
Total votes: 22