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Prison Quotes

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.

Henry David Thoreau
Total votes: 26

Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.

Marcellinus Ammianus
Total votes: 29

Concepts of justice must have hands and feet to carry out justice in every case in the shortest possible time and the lowest possible cost. That is the challenge to every lawyer and judge in America.

Warren E. Burger
Total votes: 27

The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.

Mazo de la Roche
Total votes: 27

A country is in a bad state, which is governed only by laws; because a thousand things occur for which laws cannot provide, and where authority ought to interpose.

Samuel Johnson
Total votes: 30

If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.

John Locke
Total votes: 18

He who opens a school door, closes a prison.

Victor Hugo
Total votes: 28

It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.

Sir William Blackstone
Total votes: 23

The idea that the sole aim of punishment is to prevent crime is obviously grounded upon the theory that crime can be prevented, which is almost as dubious as the notion that poverty can be prevented.

H. L. Mencken
Total votes: 32

When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.

Reverend Martin Niemoeller
Total votes: 34

No crime has been without a precedent.

Seneca
Total votes: 27

I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.

Calvin Coolidge
Total votes: 35

Assassination is the extreme form of censorship.

George Bernard Shaw
Total votes: 26

Well, I don't think prisons are the answer to everything, obviously.

Judge Mills Lane
Total votes: 27

Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.

Seneca
Total votes: 23

Intellectual despair results in neither weakness nor dreams, but in violence. It is only a matter of knowing how to give vent to one's rage; whether one only wants to wander like madmen around prisons, or whether one wants to overturn them.

Georges Bataille
Total votes: 38

It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.

Sir Philip Sidney
Total votes: 19

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.

Archbishop Richard Whately
Total votes: 32

He had drawn many a thousand of these rations in prisons and camps, and though he'd never had an opportunity to weight them on scales, and although, being a man of timid nature, he knew no way of standing up for his rights, he, like every other prisoner, had discovered long ago that honest weight was never to be found in the bread-cutting. There was short weight in every ration. The only point was how short. So every day you took a look to soothe your soul - today, maybe, they haven't snitched any.

Aleksander Solzhenitsyn
Total votes: 28

No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.

Jeremy Taylor
Total votes: 29

One crime is everything; two nothing.

Dorothee DeLuzy
Total votes: 34

Clemency alone makes us equal to the gods.

Claudian
Total votes: 32

Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law.

Oliver Goldsmith
Total votes: 23


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.

Walter Savage Landor
Total votes: 30

The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.

Horace Mann
Total votes: 30