The contagion of crime is like that of the plague. Criminals collected together corrupt each other; they are worse than ever when at the termination of their punishment they re-enter society.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
The thoughts of a prisoner - they're not free either. They keep returning to the same things.
It is safer that a bad man should not be accused, than that he should be acquitted.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.
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.
To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
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 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.
Once we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our mind, our duty is to furnish it well.
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.
Women have worked hard; starved in prison; given of their time and lives that we might sit in the House of Commons and take part in the legislating of this country.
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.