In jail a man has no personality. He is a minor disposal problem and a few entries on reports. Nobody cares who loves or hates him, what he looks like, what he did with his life. Nobody reacts to him unless he gives trouble. Nobody abuses him. All that is asked of him is that he go quietly to the right cell and remain quiet when he gets there. There is nothing to fight against, nothing to be mad at. The jailers are quiet men without animosity or sadism.
To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.
I have been studying how I may compare This prison where I live unto the world; And, for because the world is populous, And here is not a creature but myself, I cannot do it. Yet I'll hammer it out.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
He was a first-time nonviolent possible offender, ... And under the mandatory minimums, he was put in prison for 15 years. Not only does the punishment not fit the crime, but the mandatory minimums don't give judges any discretion to look at the background of the case, to read into the specifics of the case. I don't know a judge who really is in favor of the mandatory minimums.
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.
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.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
Most people fancy themselves innocent of those crimes of which they cannot be convicted.
We don't seem to be able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
By noiselessly going to a prison a civil-resister ensures a calm atmosphere.