The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
Intellectual despair results in neither weakness nor dreams, but in violence. It is only a matter of knowing how to give vent to one's rage; whether one only wants to wander like madmen around prisons, or whether one wants to overturn them.
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
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.
We don't seem to be able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.
The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.
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.
It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.
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.”
Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization.
I was in prison, and you came unto me. Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
~(Jesus Christ) Matthew 25:36, 40