When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
He had drawn many a thousand of these rations in prisons and camps, and though he'd never had an opportunity to weight them on scales, and although, being a man of timid nature, he knew no way of standing up for his rights, he, like every other prisoner, had discovered long ago that honest weight was never to be found in the bread-cutting. There was short weight in every ration. The only point was how short. So every day you took a look to soothe your soul - today, maybe, they haven't snitched any.
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.
Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.
Law is merely the expression of the will of the strongest for the time being, and therefore laws have no fixity, but shift from generation to generation.
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.
Prison makes you a better judge of character. You pick up on people much faster.
I know not whether laws be right, or whether laws be wrong; All that we know who lie in gaol is that the wall is strong; And that each day is like a year, a year whose days are long.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
Whatever is worthy to be loved for anything is worthy of preservation. A wise and dispassionate legislator, if any such should ever arise among men, will not condemn to death him who has done or is likely to do more service than injury to society. Blocks and gibbets are the nearest objects with legislators, and their business is never with hopes or with virtues.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.
Faults of the head are punished in this world, those of the heart in another; but as most of our vices are compound, so also is their punishment.
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.