What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.
The contagion of crime is like that of the plague. Criminals collected together corrupt each other; they are worse than ever when at the termination of their punishment they re-enter society.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
The difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion is the thickness of a prison walls.
I can tell you this on a stack of Bibles: prisons are archaic, brutal, unregenerative, overcrowded hell holes where the inmates are treated like animals with absolutely not one humane thought given to what they are going to do once they are released. You're an animal in a cage and you're treated like one.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
Justice is justice though it's always delayed and finally done only by mistake.
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.
By noiselessly going to a prison a civil-resister ensures a calm atmosphere.
There's no greater threat to our independence, to our cherished freedoms and personal liberties than the continual, relentless injection of these insidious poisons into our system. We must decide whether we cherish independence from drugs, without which there is no freedom.
The idea that the sole aim of punishment is to prevent crime is obviously grounded upon the theory that crime can be prevented, which is almost as dubious as the notion that poverty can be prevented.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking…is freedom.
I am certain that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.
I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
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.