Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
On average, drug prisoners spend more time in federal prison than rapists, who often get out on early release because of the overcrowding in prison caused by the Drug War.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them.
Every crime has, in the moment of its perpetration, Its own avenging angel--dark misgiving, An ominous sinking at the inmost heart.
I just remember that disturbing feeling of walking into that prison, the complete loss of privacy, the complete loss of stimulation, dignity.
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.
One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.
They took away my money, my family, and my security. Why couldn't they destroy my ideas? We will question them in court tomorrow as we trigger The Revolution of all revolutions!
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.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
Show me the prison, Show me the jail, Show me the prisoner whose life has gone stale. And I'll show you a young man with so many reasons why And there, but for fortune, go you or I.
Prison makes you a better judge of character. You pick up on people much faster.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
The thoughts of a prisoner - they're not free either. They keep returning to the same things.
It is impossible to go through life without trust: That is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.