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.
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.
The only effect of public punishment is to show the rabble how bravely it can be borne; and that every one who hath lost a toe-nail hath suffered worse.
The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.
The only difference between me and my fellow actors is that I've spent more time in jail.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
It was only when I lay there on the rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not between states nor between social classes nor between political parties, but right through every human heart, through all human hearts. And that is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me, bless you, prison, for having been a part of my life.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
To try to raise a son from inside the prison walls is a very difficult thing. But I want to say to the world my son at 16 was the one who tried the most to get me out of prison.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
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.
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.