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Prison Quotes

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.

Aleksander Solzhenitsyn
Total votes: 14

The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.

Stendhal (pseudonym Henri Beyle)
Total votes: 14


Whatever is worthy to be loved for anything is worthy of preservation. A wise and dispassionate legislator, if any such should ever arise among men, will not condemn to death him who has done or is likely to do more service than injury to society. Blocks and gibbets are the nearest objects with legislators, and their business is never with hopes or with virtues.

Walter Savage Landor
Total votes: 15

I know not whether laws be right, or whether laws be wrong; All that we know who lie in gaol is that the wall is strong; And that each day is like a year, a year whose days are long.

Oscar Wilde
Total votes: 22

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.

Raymond Chandler
You voted 5. Total votes: 17

Shyness is the prison of the heart.

Spanish Proverb
Total votes: 15

Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization.

Winston Churchill
Total votes: 11

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.

George Bernard Shaw
Total votes: 18

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

Jeremy Taylor
Total votes: 13

Body is a home, a prison and a grave.

James Runcie
Total votes: 10

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.

Oscar Wilde
Total votes: 14

Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrist? And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists? And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air? Oh they're taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.

A. E. Housman
Total votes: 20

Justice is that virtue of the soul which is distributive according to desert.

Aristotle
Total votes: 17

A sick person is a prisoner.

Yemeni Proverb
Total votes: 9

The thoughts of a prisoner - they're not free either. They keep returning to the same things.

Aleksander Solzhenitsyn
Total votes: 18

It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.

Thomas Jefferson
Total votes: 21

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: 12

A variety in punishment is of utility, as well as a proportion.

George Washington
Total votes: 9

In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.

Eldridge Cleaver
Total votes: 13

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.

Georges Bataille
Total votes: 16

They're not supposed to show prison films in prison. Especially ones that are about escaping.

Steve Buscemi
Total votes: 14

Experts and the educated elite have replaced what worked with what sounded good. Society was far more civilized before they took over our schools, prisons, welfare programs, police departments and courts. It's high time we ran these people out of our lives and went back to common sense.

Walter E. Williams
Total votes: 21

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: 9

The severest justice may not always be the best policy.

Abraham Lincoln
Total votes: 14

Since 1957, black people have experienced double-digit unemployment - in good times and bad times. Look at the population of African Americans in prison. They represent more than half the population of prisoners in the country, 55 percent of those on death row.

Danny Glover
You voted 2. Total votes: 14