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.
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.”
It is true you cannot eat freedom and you cannot power machinery with democracy. But then neither can political prisoners turn on the light in the cells of a dictatorship.
One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.
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.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
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.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
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.
The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
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.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
If we look at Houston, which is a very environmentally toxic place, we find that it has one of the highest levels of young men going to prison and also among the highest levels of illiteracy in the country.