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Prison Quotes

Hard cases, it is said, make bad law.

Lord John Campbell
Total votes: 40

The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.

Horace Mann
Total votes: 30

One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.

Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenal)
Total votes: 29

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

Stendhal (pseudonym Henri Beyle)
Total votes: 29

The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.

H. L. Mencken
Total votes: 26


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: 31

What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.

H. L. Mencken
Total votes: 47

America is the land of the second chance – and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.

George W. Bush
Total votes: 26

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: 27

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: 25

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.

Ramsey Clark
Total votes: 37

When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.

Mike Tyson
Total votes: 41

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

Aristotle
Total votes: 34

Hanging was the worst use a man could be put to.

Sir Henry Wotton
Total votes: 31

It is impossible to go through life without trust: That is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.

Graham Greene
Total votes: 37

They were being driven to a prison, through no fault of their own, in all probability for life. In comparison, how much easier it would be to walk to the gallows than to this tomb of living horrors!

Nellie Bly
Total votes: 33

There are dreadful punishments enacted against thieves; but it were much better to make such good provisions, by which every man might be put in a method how to live, and so to be preserved from the fatal necessity of stealing and dying for it.

Thomas Moore
Total votes: 42

Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.

Marcellinus Ammianus
Total votes: 30

Two men look out the same prison bars; one sees mud and the other stars.

Frederick Langbridge
Total votes: 39

I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.

Jeffrey Archer
Total votes: 34

Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.

Moslih Eddin
Total votes: 27

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: 35

The best situation of all, and one frequently utilized, is for jails and prisons to allow volunteer ministers of all faiths to enter prisons and offer their services to the inmates who want them. That way, the religious needs of inmates are met but without government funds being spent.

Kent Willis
Total votes: 32

Prison continues, on those who are entrusted to it, a work begun elsewhere, which the whole of society pursues on each individual through innumerable mechanisms of discipline.

Michel Foucault
Total votes: 24

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

Steve Buscemi
Total votes: 28