The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrist? And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists? And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air? Oh they're taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.
The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.
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.
Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them.
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
I can tell you this on a stack of Bibles: prisons are archaic, brutal, unregenerative, overcrowded hell holes where the inmates are treated like animals with absolutely not one humane thought given to what they are going to do once they are released. You're an animal in a cage and you're treated like one.
Every crime has, in the moment of its perpetration, Its own avenging angel--dark misgiving, An ominous sinking at the inmost heart.
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.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.
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%.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
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.