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Prison Quotes

The best situation of all, and one frequently utilized, is for jails and prisons to allow volunteer ministers of all faiths to enter prisons and offer their services to the inmates who want them. That way, the religious needs of inmates are met but without government funds being spent.

Kent Willis
Total votes: 32

Justice is justice though it's always delayed and finally done only by mistake.

George Bernard Shaw
Total votes: 31

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

The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.

Aung San Suu Kyi
Total votes: 27

Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.

A. R. Ammons
Total votes: 24

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

Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.

Antonin Scalia
Total votes: 28

Two men look out the same prison bars; one sees mud and the other stars.

Frederick Langbridge
Total votes: 38

The severest justice may not always be the best policy.

Abraham Lincoln
Total votes: 22

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.

Walter Savage Landor
Total votes: 27

Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.

Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso)
Total votes: 36

One of the problems that the marijuana reform movement consistently faces is that everyone wants to talk about what marijuana does, but no one ever wants to look at what marijuana prohibition does. Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows.

Richard Cowan
Total votes: 26

The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.

Walter Raleigh Sr.
Total votes: 25

Three hundred years ago a prisoner condemned to the Tower of London carved on the wall of his cell this sentiment to keep up his spirits during his long imprisonment: “It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear adversity.”

Father James Keller
Total votes: 28

It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.

Jacques Yves Cousteau
Total votes: 22

And while God had work for Paul, he found him friends both in court and prison. Let persecutors send saints to prison, God can provide a keeper for their turn.

William Gurnall
Total votes: 24


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 law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.

Clarence S. Darrow
Total votes: 25

Nelson Mandela and Malcolm X came out of prison stronger.

Philip Emeagwali
Total votes: 26

We who live in prison, and in whose lives there is no event but sorrow, have to measure time by throbs of pain, and the record of bitter moments.

Oscar Wilde
Total votes: 30

Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.

Charles Robert Maturin
Total votes: 29

You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.

Bronislaw Malinowski
Total votes: 34

There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.

William Glasser
Total votes: 29

Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?

Jerry Brown
Total votes: 27

While we have prisons it matters little which of us occupy the cells.

George Bernard Shaw
Total votes: 31