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.
A country is in a bad state, which is governed only by laws; because a thousand things occur for which laws cannot provide, and where authority ought to interpose.
There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.
History is full of people who went to prison or were burned at the stake for proclaiming their ideas. Society has always defended itself.
Most people fancy themselves innocent of those crimes of which they cannot be convicted.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
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.
Every instance of a man's suffering the penalty of the law is an instance of the failure of that penalty in effecting its purpose, which is to deter.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
Prison makes you a better judge of character. You pick up on people much faster.
Forgiveness, that noblest of all self-denial, is a virtue which he alone who can practise in himself can willingly believe in another.
There are dreadful punishments enacted against thieves; but it were much better to make such good provisions, by which every man might be put in a method how to live, and so to be preserved from the fatal necessity of stealing and dying for it.