The best situation of all, and one frequently utilized, is for jails and prisons to allow volunteer ministers of all faiths to enter prisons and offer their services to the inmates who want them. That way, the religious needs of inmates are met but without government funds being spent.
Justice is justice though it's always delayed and finally done only by mistake.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.
Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.
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.
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
The only effect of public punishment is to show the rabble how bravely it can be borne; and that every one who hath lost a toe-nail hath suffered worse.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
One of the problems that the marijuana reform movement consistently faces is that everyone wants to talk about what marijuana does, but no one ever wants to look at what marijuana prohibition does. Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows.
The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.
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.”
It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.
And while God had work for Paul, he found him friends both in court and prison. Let persecutors send saints to prison, God can provide a keeper for their turn.
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.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
We who live in prison, and in whose lives there is no event but sorrow, have to measure time by throbs of pain, and the record of bitter moments.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.
There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?