The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
To be in prison so long, it's difficult to remember exactly what you did to get there.
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.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
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.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
On a planet that increasingly resembles one huge Maximum Security prison, the only intelligent choice is to plan a jail break.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
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.
If you treat prisoners well, they will be less angry, less inclined to violence inside prison, less likely to provoke violent actions by guards, less likely to have reason to file brutality lawsuits that cost taxpayers a bundle and waste administrators' time. And most important, well-treated prisoners will be less likely to leave prison angrier, more vicious and more inclined to criminal behavior than when they went in.
The only difference between me and my fellow actors is that I've spent more time in jail.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.