Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
It is impossible to go through life without trust: That is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.
I never told a victim story about my imprisonment. Instead, I told a transformation story - about how prison changed my outlook, about how I saw that communication, truth, and trust are at the heart of power.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
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.
It is not at the table, but in prison, that you learn who your true friends are.
Prison makes you a better judge of character. You pick up on people much faster.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them.
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.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
One of the problems that the marijuana reform movement consistently faces is that everyone wants to talk about what marijuana does, but no one ever wants to look at what marijuana prohibition does. Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.