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.
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.
A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards, as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
Experts and the educated elite have replaced what worked with what sounded good. Society was far more civilized before they took over our schools, prisons, welfare programs, police departments and courts. It's high time we ran these people out of our lives and went back to common sense.
Most people fancy themselves innocent of those crimes of which they cannot be convicted.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.
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.
The difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion is the thickness of a prison walls.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
I never told a victim story about my imprisonment. Instead, I told a transformation story - about how prison changed my outlook, about how I saw that communication, truth, and trust are at the heart of power.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
Justice is justice though it's always delayed and finally done only by mistake.
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.