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Prison Quotes

It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.

Jacques Yves Cousteau
Total votes: 24

Two men look out the same prison bars; one sees mud and the other stars.

Frederick Langbridge
Total votes: 39

Three hundred years ago a prisoner condemned to the Tower of London carved on the wall of his cell this sentiment to keep up his spirits during his long imprisonment: “It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear adversity.”

Father James Keller
Total votes: 30

No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Total votes: 28

Any punishment that does not correct, that can merely rouse rebellion in whoever has to endure it, is a piece of gratuitous infamy which makes those who impose it more guilty in the eyes of humanity, good sense and reason, nay a hundred times more guilty than the victim on whom the punishment is inflicted.

Marquis de Sade
Total votes: 25

I know how men in exile feed on dreams of hope.

Aeschylus
Total votes: 32

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.

Michael Badnarik
Total votes: 41

We are prisoners of ideas.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Total votes: 33

Hanging was the worst use a man could be put to.

Sir Henry Wotton
Total votes: 31

When it comes to freedom, we are but prisoners of our own desires.

Eric Schaub
Total votes: 24

Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.

Thomas Denman
Total votes: 30

I never told a victim story about my imprisonment. Instead, I told a transformation story - about how prison changed my outlook, about how I saw that communication, truth, and trust are at the heart of power.

Fernando Flores
Total votes: 32

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.

Fredrich August von Hayek
Total votes: 29

If you treat prisoners well, they will be less angry, less inclined to violence inside prison, less likely to provoke violent actions by guards, less likely to have reason to file brutality lawsuits that cost taxpayers a bundle and waste administrators' time. And most important, well-treated prisoners will be less likely to leave prison angrier, more vicious and more inclined to criminal behavior than when they went in.

Frank Wood, Commissioner of Corrections, Minnesota
Total votes: 33

It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their own kind.

George Bernard Shaw
Total votes: 37


Whatever is worthy to be loved for anything is worthy of preservation. A wise and dispassionate legislator, if any such should ever arise among men, will not condemn to death him who has done or is likely to do more service than injury to society. Blocks and gibbets are the nearest objects with legislators, and their business is never with hopes or with virtues.

Walter Savage Landor
Total votes: 31

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.

Archbishop Richard Whately
Total votes: 37

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.

H. L. Mencken
Total votes: 37

It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.

Thomas Jefferson
Total votes: 33

The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.

Henry Ward Beecher
Total votes: 36

Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.

Marcellinus Ammianus
Total votes: 32

The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.

Walter Raleigh Sr.
Total votes: 28

I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.

Calvin Coolidge
Total votes: 37


Karl Menninger
Total votes: 25

I know not whether laws be right, or whether laws be wrong; All that we know who lie in gaol is that the wall is strong; And that each day is like a year, a year whose days are long.

Oscar Wilde
Total votes: 39