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Prison Quotes

Crime succeeds by sudden despatch; honest counsels gain vigor by delay.

Tacitus (Caius Cornelius Tacitus)
Total votes: 12

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: 20


Karl Menninger
Total votes: 10

The virtue of justice consists in moderation, as regulated by wisdom.

Aristotle
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: 13

Only free men can negotiate. Prisoners cannot enter into contracts.

Nelson Mandela
Total votes: 15

Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.

Edmund Burke
Total votes: 9

By noiselessly going to a prison a civil-resister ensures a calm atmosphere.

Gandhi
Total votes: 12

If you treat prisoners well, they will be less angry, less inclined to violence inside prison, less likely to provoke violent actions by guards, less likely to have reason to file brutality lawsuits that cost taxpayers a bundle and waste administrators' time. And most important, well-treated prisoners will be less likely to leave prison angrier, more vicious and more inclined to criminal behavior than when they went in.

Frank Wood, Commissioner of Corrections, Minnesota
Total votes: 15

When is conduct a crime, and when is a crime not a crime? When Somebody Up There -- a monarch, a dictator, a Pope, a legislator -- so decrees.

Jessica Mitford
Total votes: 17

Self is the only prison that can bind the soul.

Henry Van Dyke
Total votes: 13

Crimes generally punish themselves.

Oliver Goldsmith
Total votes: 17

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

Judge Mills Lane
Total votes: 12

Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them.

Edward R. Murrow
Total votes: 16

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.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Total votes: 10


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.

Anacharsis
Total votes: 12

Every crime has, in the moment of its perpetration, Its own avenging angel--dark misgiving, An ominous sinking at the inmost heart.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Total votes: 7

The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.

Aung San Suu Kyi
Total votes: 11

There's no greater threat to our independence, to our cherished freedoms and personal liberties than the continual, relentless injection of these insidious poisons into our system. We must decide whether we cherish independence from drugs, without which there is no freedom.

William Von Raab
Total votes: 13

No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Total votes: 12

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.

Danny Glover
Total votes: 12

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

The torment of human frustration, whatever its immediate cause, is the knowledge that the self is in prison, its vital force and 'mangled mind' leaking away in lonely, wasteful self-conflict.

Elizabeth Drew
Total votes: 19

I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.

Oscar Wilde
Total votes: 16

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

Jeremy Taylor
Total votes: 11