Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization.
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.
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.
There are few better measures of the concern a society has for its individual members and its own well being than the way it handles criminals.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
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.
A country is in a bad state, which is governed only by laws; because a thousand things occur for which laws cannot provide, and where authority ought to interpose.
To try to raise a son from inside the prison walls is a very difficult thing. But I want to say to the world my son at 16 was the one who tried the most to get me out of prison.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
The thoughts of a prisoner - they're not free either. They keep returning to the same things.
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.
Prison makes you a better judge of character. You pick up on people much faster.
It is not at the table, but in prison, that you learn who your true friends are.
Prison, dungeons, blessed places where evil is impossible because they are the crossroads of all the evil in the world. One cannot commit evil in hell.
The torment of human frustration, whatever its immediate cause, is the knowledge that the self is in prison, its vital force and 'mangled mind' leaking away in lonely, wasteful self-conflict.
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.
By noiselessly going to a prison a civil-resister ensures a calm atmosphere.