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Prison Quotes

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: 14

Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

Albert Einstein
Total votes: 16

Forgiveness, that noblest of all self-denial, is a virtue which he alone who can practise in himself can willingly believe in another.

Charles Caleb Colton
Total votes: 15

Women have worked hard; starved in prison; given of their time and lives that we might sit in the House of Commons and take part in the legislating of this country.

Ellen Wilkinson
Total votes: 10

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.

H. L. Mencken
Total votes: 22

The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.

Clarence S. Darrow
Total votes: 13

Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.

A. R. Ammons
Total votes: 15

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: 18

I don't like jail, they got the wrong kind of bars in there.

Charles Bukowski
Total votes: 25

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

Eldridge Cleaver
Total votes: 18

The punishment can be remitted; the crime is everlasting.

Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso)
Total votes: 23

If you share the crime of your friend, you make it your own.

Syrus (Publilius Syrus)
Total votes: 17

The severest justice may not always be the best policy.

Abraham Lincoln
Total votes: 16

I can work for the Lord in or out of prison.

Charles W. Colson
Total votes: 21

There is no peace because the making of peace is at least as costly as the making of war - at least as exigent, at least as disruptive, at least as liable to bring disgrace and prison and death in its wake.

Daniel Berrigan
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: 20

It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.

Sir William Blackstone
Total votes: 18

One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.

Oscar Wilde
Total votes: 20

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.”

Father James Keller
Total votes: 19

It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.

Mario Vargas Llosa
Total votes: 18

Concepts of justice must have hands and feet to carry out justice in every case in the shortest possible time and the lowest possible cost. That is the challenge to every lawyer and judge in America.

Warren E. Burger
Total votes: 19

Any punishment that does not correct, that can merely rouse rebellion in whoever has to endure it, is a piece of gratuitous infamy which makes those who impose it more guilty in the eyes of humanity, good sense and reason, nay a hundred times more guilty than the victim on whom the punishment is inflicted.

Marquis de Sade
Total votes: 11

If you strike at, imprison, or kill us, out of our prisons or graves we will still evoke a spirit that will thwart you, and perhaps, raise a force that will destroy you! We defy you! Do your worst!

James Connolly
Total votes: 15

On average, drug prisoners spend more time in federal prison than rapists, who often get out on early release because of the overcrowding in prison caused by the Drug War.

Michael Badnarik
Total votes: 29

How dreadful it is when the right judge judges wrong.

Sophocles
Total votes: 14