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Prison Quotes

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: 30

The severest justice may not always be the best policy.

Abraham Lincoln
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: 19

The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.

Mitchell Burgess
Total votes: 21


We shall fight against them, throw them in prisons and destroy them.

Vladimir Putin
Total votes: 20

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: 29

The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.

Henry Ward Beecher
Total votes: 29

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: 28


Most people fancy themselves innocent of those crimes of which they cannot be convicted.

Seneca
Total votes: 21

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: 31

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: 32

He was a first-time nonviolent possible offender, ... And under the mandatory minimums, he was put in prison for 15 years. Not only does the punishment not fit the crime, but the mandatory minimums don't give judges any discretion to look at the background of the case, to read into the specifics of the case. I don't know a judge who really is in favor of the mandatory minimums.

Carly Simon
Total votes: 17

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: 27

Law is merely the expression of the will of the strongest for the time being, and therefore laws have no fixity, but shift from generation to generation.

Henry Brooks Adams
Total votes: 23

One crime has to be concealed by another.

Seneca
Total votes: 27

Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?

Jerry Brown
Total votes: 23

Taught from infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.

Mary Wollstonecraft
Total votes: 24

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: 27

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

Nelson Mandela
Total votes: 25

The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.

Marcus Porcius Cato
Total votes: 25

A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards, as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.

Ludwig Wittgenstein
Total votes: 21

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

H. L. Mencken
Total votes: 18

Clemency alone makes us equal to the gods.

Claudian
Total votes: 26

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

Jeffrey Archer
Total votes: 28

The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
 

Bertrand Russell
Total votes: 61