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.
Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.
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.
I never told a victim story about my imprisonment. Instead, I told a transformation story - about how prison changed my outlook, about how I saw that communication, truth, and trust are at the heart of power.
The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.
Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.
The number of laws is constantly growing in all countries and, owing to this, what is called crime is very often not a crime at all, for it contains no element of violence or harm.
It is safer that a bad man should not be accused, than that he should be acquitted.
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.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
No man survives when freedom fails. The best men rot in filthy jails, and those who cry 'appease, appease' are hanged by those they tried to please.