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Prison Quotes

Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful.

Friedrich Nietzsche
Total votes: 32

Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Total votes: 22

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

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

George Bernard Shaw
You voted 1. Total votes: 29

No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.

Carrie Chapman Catt
Total votes: 27

A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.

H. L. Mencken
Total votes: 15

The uneven impact of actual enforcement measures tends to mirror and reinforce more general patterns of discrimination (along socioeconomic, racial and ethnic, sexual, and perhaps generational lines) within the society. As a consequence, such enforcement (ineffective as it may be in producing conformity) almost certainly reinforces feelings of alienation already prevalent within major segments of the population.

Edwin M. Schur
Total votes: 20

We are prisoners of ideas.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Total votes: 30

The punishment can be remitted; the crime is everlasting.

Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso)
Total votes: 28

Forgiveness, that noblest of all self-denial, is a virtue which he alone who can practise in himself can willingly believe in another.

Charles Caleb Colton
Total votes: 21

Well, I don't think prisons are the answer to everything, obviously.

Judge Mills Lane
Total votes: 25

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: 23

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: 21

Three hundred years ago a prisoner condemned to the Tower of London carved on the wall of his cell this sentiment to keep up his spirits during his long imprisonment: “It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear adversity.”

Father James Keller
Total votes: 26

America is the land of the second chance – and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.

George W. Bush
Total votes: 20

Self is the only prison that can bind the soul.

Henry Van Dyke
Total votes: 26

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: 14

Let us remember that justice must be observed even to the lowest.

Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero)
Total votes: 27

The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.

Attributed to Fyodor Dostoevsky (Unverfied)
Total votes: 29

The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.

Henry Ward Beecher
Total votes: 29

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

Jeremy Taylor
Total votes: 25

We don't seem to be able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business.

Will Rogers
Total votes: 21

Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.

A. R. Ammons
Total votes: 23

Steal goods and you’ll go to prison, steal lands and you are a king.

Japanese Proverb
Total votes: 25


Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Total votes: 20