There are few better measures of the concern a society has for its individual members and its own well being than the way it handles criminals.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
The difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion is the thickness of a prison walls.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
We who live in prison, and in whose lives there is no event but sorrow, have to measure time by throbs of pain, and the record of bitter moments.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
It is not at the table, but in prison, that you learn who your true friends are.
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.
I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
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.”
Written laws are like spiders' webs, and will, like them, only entangle and hold the poor and weak, while the rich and powerful will easily break through them.
He was a first-time nonviolent possible offender, ... And under the mandatory minimums, he was put in prison for 15 years. Not only does the punishment not fit the crime, but the mandatory minimums don't give judges any discretion to look at the background of the case, to read into the specifics of the case. I don't know a judge who really is in favor of the mandatory minimums.