The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.
It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their own kind.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
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.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton.
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.
A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.
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.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
Care should be taken that the punishment does not exceed the guilt; and also that some men do not suffer for offenses for which others are not even indicted.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
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.
Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.