Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization.
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.
If we look at Houston, which is a very environmentally toxic place, we find that it has one of the highest levels of young men going to prison and also among the highest levels of illiteracy in the country.
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.
I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.
The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrist? And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists? And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air? Oh they're taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.
When you are younger you get blamed for crimes you never committed and when you're older you begin to get credit for virtues you never possessed. It evens itself out.
Faults of the head are punished in this world, those of the heart in another; but as most of our vices are compound, so also is their punishment.
The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.
It was only when I lay there on the rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not between states nor between social classes nor between political parties, but right through every human heart, through all human hearts. And that is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me, bless you, prison, for having been a part of my life.
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.
Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.