The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.
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.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
Civilization is maintained by a very few people in a small number of places and we need only some bombs and a few prisons to blot it out altogether.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
Justice is justice though it's always delayed and finally done only by mistake.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
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.
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.
I am an expert of electricity. My father occupied the chair of applied electricity at the state prison.
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.”
Here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to be to restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.