The uneven impact of actual enforcement measures tends to mirror and reinforce more general patterns of discrimination (along socioeconomic, racial and ethnic, sexual, and perhaps generational lines) within the society. As a consequence, such enforcement (ineffective as it may be in producing conformity) almost certainly reinforces feelings of alienation already prevalent within major segments of the population.
What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
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.
One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
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.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.
I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
America is the land of the second chance – and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
Forgiveness, that noblest of all self-denial, is a virtue which he alone who can practise in himself can willingly believe in another.
There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.
When you are younger you get blamed for crimes you never committed and when you're older you begin to get credit for virtues you never possessed. It evens itself out.
Women now have choices. They can be married, not married, have a job, not have a job, be married with children, unmarried with children. Men have the same choice we've always had: work, or prison.