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Prison Quotes

The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.

Attributed to Fyodor Dostoevsky (Unverfied)
Total votes: 29

I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.

Jeffrey Archer
Total votes: 28


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: 23

Reality becomes a prison to those who can’t get out of it.

Joyce Cary
Total votes: 23

No crime has been without a precedent.

Seneca
Total votes: 26

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.

Reverend Martin Niemoeller
Total votes: 28

Any punishment that does not correct, that can merely rouse rebellion in whoever has to endure it, is a piece of gratuitous infamy which makes those who impose it more guilty in the eyes of humanity, good sense and reason, nay a hundred times more guilty than the victim on whom the punishment is inflicted.

Marquis de Sade
Total votes: 18

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: 21

Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.

Jean Rostand
Total votes: 23

Every instance of a man's suffering the penalty of the law is an instance of the failure of that penalty in effecting its purpose, which is to deter.

Archbishop Richard Whately
Total votes: 28

While we have prisons it matters little which of us occupy the cells.

George Bernard Shaw
Total votes: 29

There's no greater threat to our independence, to our cherished freedoms and personal liberties than the continual, relentless injection of these insidious poisons into our system. We must decide whether we cherish independence from drugs, without which there is no freedom.

William Von Raab
Total votes: 25

Fear can be like a prison. It is, however, a self made prison. Many are imprisoned by fear. No one else can liberate them from this prison. Others may inspire them but they must liberate themselves.

Mr. Prophet
Total votes: 37

He was a first-time nonviolent possible offender, ... And under the mandatory minimums, he was put in prison for 15 years. Not only does the punishment not fit the crime, but the mandatory minimums don't give judges any discretion to look at the background of the case, to read into the specifics of the case. I don't know a judge who really is in favor of the mandatory minimums.

Carly Simon
Total votes: 18

The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.

David Herbert Lawrence
Total votes: 21

One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.

Bertrand Russell
Total votes: 25

They were being driven to a prison, through no fault of their own, in all probability for life. In comparison, how much easier it would be to walk to the gallows than to this tomb of living horrors!

Nellie Bly
Total votes: 29

I don't like jail, they got the wrong kind of bars in there.

Charles Bukowski
Total votes: 30

I know how men in exile feed on dreams of hope.

Aeschylus
Total votes: 27

Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.

Charles Robert Maturin
Total votes: 25

We have our own system, ... and journalists in our system are not put in prison for embarrassing the government by revealing things the government might not wish to have revealed. The important thing is that our system, under which journalists can write without fear or favor, should continue.

Chris Patten
Total votes: 27

Society prepares the crime; the criminal commits it.

Henry Thomas Buckle
Total votes: 28

The virtue of justice consists in moderation, as regulated by wisdom.

Aristotle
Total votes: 27

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: 28

Only free men can negotiate. Prisoners cannot enter into contracts.

Nelson Mandela
Total votes: 24