The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
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.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
Here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to be to restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.
When is conduct a crime, and when is a crime not a crime? When Somebody Up There -- a monarch, a dictator, a Pope, a legislator -- so decrees.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.
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.