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Prison Quotes

To be in prison so long, it's difficult to remember exactly what you did to get there.

Jack Henry Abbott
Total votes: 15

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

Seneca
Total votes: 11

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

Jerry Brown
Total votes: 16

The solution to our drug problem is not in incarceration.
 

Barry McCaffrey
Total votes: 8

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: 13

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.

Carly Simon
Total votes: 11

The torment of human frustration, whatever its immediate cause, is the knowledge that the self is in prison, its vital force and 'mangled mind' leaking away in lonely, wasteful self-conflict.

Elizabeth Drew
Total votes: 23

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: 19

I know not whether laws be right, or whether laws be wrong; All that we know who lie in gaol is that the wall is strong; And that each day is like a year, a year whose days are long.

Oscar Wilde
Total votes: 23

No man should be judge in his own case.

Legal Maxim
Total votes: 8

When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.

Mike Tyson
Total votes: 10

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.

George Santayana
Total votes: 18

The severest justice may not always be the best policy.

Abraham Lincoln
Total votes: 15

They were being driven to a prison, through no fault of their own, in all probability for life. In comparison, how much easier it would be to walk to the gallows than to this tomb of living horrors!

Nellie Bly
Total votes: 19

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.

Aleksander Solzhenitsyn
Total votes: 16

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

Horace Mann
Total votes: 19

Well does Heaven have care that no man secures happiness by crime.

Vittorio Alfieri
Total votes: 24

Women have worked hard; starved in prison; given of their time and lives that we might sit in the House of Commons and take part in the legislating of this country.

Ellen Wilkinson
Total votes: 9

Taught from infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.

Mary Wollstonecraft
Total votes: 15

The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.

Oliver Goldsmith
Total votes: 15

Liberty is rendered even more precious by the recollection of servitude.

Marcus Tullius Cicero
Total votes: 17

No man survives when freedom fails. The best men rot in filthy jails, and those who cry 'appease, appease' are hanged by those they tried to please.

Hiram Mann
Total votes: 20

It becomes not a law-maker to be a law-breaker.

Bias of Priene
Total votes: 12

You stuff somebody into the American dream, and it becomes a prison.

Craig L. Thomas
Total votes: 13


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: 17