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Prison Quotes

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

Jerry Brown
Total votes: 16

Extreme justice is extreme injustice.

Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero)
Total votes: 17

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.”

Father James Keller
Total votes: 16

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: 19

We who live in prison, and in whose lives there is no event but sorrow, have to measure time by throbs of pain, and the record of bitter moments.

Oscar Wilde
Total votes: 16


While crime is punished it yet increases.

Seneca
Total votes: 13

Forgiveness, that noblest of all self-denial, is a virtue which he alone who can practise in himself can willingly believe in another.

Charles Caleb Colton
Total votes: 13

So justice while she winks at crimes, Stumbles on innocence sometimes.

Samuel Butler
Total votes: 16

In jail a man has no personality. He is a minor disposal problem and a few entries on reports. Nobody cares who loves or hates him, what he looks like, what he did with his life. Nobody reacts to him unless he gives trouble. Nobody abuses him. All that is asked of him is that he go quietly to the right cell and remain quiet when he gets there. There is nothing to fight against, nothing to be mad at. The jailers are quiet men without animosity or sadism.

Raymond Chandler
Total votes: 19

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: 20

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: 19

There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.

William Glasser
Total votes: 17


Federal prison, if you get any of it, you're going to have to do 85% of it. And the reason why I called it that is because I had a friend who got sent to the federal joint and his whole... it wasn't about him being in jail. He cried about the 85%.

Mike Epps
Total votes: 22

Whatever you think of de Sade, he was a complex figure and we should not look for easy answers with him. He was, strangely perhaps, against the death penalty, and he was never put in prison for murders or anything like that.

Philip Kaufman
Total votes: 11

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: 24

If it's near dinner-time, the foreman takes out his watch when the jury has retired, and says: "Dear me, gentlemen, ten minutes to five, I declare! I dine at five, gentlemen." "So do I," says everybody else, except two men who ought to have dined at three and seem more than half disposed to stand out in consequence. The foreman smiles, and puts up his watch:--"Well, gentlemen, what do we say, plaintiff or defendant, gentlemen?

Charles Dickens
Total votes: 14

Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.

Edmund Burke
Total votes: 11

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

H. L. Mencken
Total votes: 10

To be in prison so long, it's difficult to remember exactly what you did to get there.

Jack Henry Abbott
Total votes: 15

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.

Cyril Connolly
Total votes: 16


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: 16

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

Sir Henry Wotton
Total votes: 18

If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking…is freedom.

Dwight David Eisenhower
Total votes: 19

We shall not yield to violence. We shall not be deprived of union freedoms. We shall never agree with sending people to prison for their convictions.

Lech Walesa
Total votes: 20

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.

Daniel Berrigan
Total votes: 11