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.
Adversities such as being homeless and going to prison has made many people stronger.
We shall fight against them, throw them in prisons and destroy them.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
Prosecution I have managed to avoid; but I have been arrested, charged in a police court, have refused to be bound over, and thereupon have been unconditionally released - to my great regret; for I have always wanted to know what going to prison was like.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
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.
Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.
Whatever is worthy to be loved for anything is worthy of preservation. A wise and dispassionate legislator, if any such should ever arise among men, will not condemn to death him who has done or is likely to do more service than injury to society. Blocks and gibbets are the nearest objects with legislators, and their business is never with hopes or with virtues.
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
I can tell you this on a stack of Bibles: prisons are archaic, brutal, unregenerative, overcrowded hell holes where the inmates are treated like animals with absolutely not one humane thought given to what they are going to do once they are released. You're an animal in a cage and you're treated like one.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
I know not whether laws be right, or whether laws be wrong; All that we know who lie in gaol is that the wall is strong; And that each day is like a year, a year whose days are long.