Once we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our mind, our duty is to furnish it well.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
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.
It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their own kind.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.
Three hundred years ago a prisoner condemned to the Tower of London carved on the wall of his cell this sentiment to keep up his spirits during his long imprisonment: “It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear adversity.”
If we look at Houston, which is a very environmentally toxic place, we find that it has one of the highest levels of young men going to prison and also among the highest levels of illiteracy in the country.
To be in prison so long, it's difficult to remember exactly what you did to get there.
Since 1957, black people have experienced double-digit unemployment - in good times and bad times. Look at the population of African Americans in prison. They represent more than half the population of prisoners in the country, 55 percent of those on death row.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future lives and crimes to society.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.