In jail a man has no personality. He is a minor disposal problem and a few entries on reports. Nobody cares who loves or hates him, what he looks like, what he did with his life. Nobody reacts to him unless he gives trouble. Nobody abuses him. All that is asked of him is that he go quietly to the right cell and remain quiet when he gets there. There is nothing to fight against, nothing to be mad at. The jailers are quiet men without animosity or sadism.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
America is the land of the second chance – and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.
Prosecution I have managed to avoid; but I have been arrested, charged in a police court, have refused to be bound over, and thereupon have been unconditionally released - to my great regret; for I have always wanted to know what going to prison was like.
Since 1957, black people have experienced double-digit unemployment - in good times and bad times. Look at the population of African Americans in prison. They represent more than half the population of prisoners in the country, 55 percent of those on death row.
Justice is that virtue of the soul which is distributive according to desert.
It is true you cannot eat freedom and you cannot power machinery with democracy. But then neither can political prisoners turn on the light in the cells of a dictatorship.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.
Organized crime in America takes in over forty billion dollars a year. This is quite a profitable sum, especially when one considers that the Mafia spends very little for office supplies.
Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.
Prison makes you a better judge of character. You pick up on people much faster.
Care should be taken that the punishment does not exceed the guilt; and also that some men do not suffer for offenses for which others are not even indicted.
It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.
It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.