The uneven impact of actual enforcement measures tends to mirror and reinforce more general patterns of discrimination (along socioeconomic, racial and ethnic, sexual, and perhaps generational lines) within the society. As a consequence, such enforcement (ineffective as it may be in producing conformity) almost certainly reinforces feelings of alienation already prevalent within major segments of the population.
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.
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.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
Once we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our mind, our duty is to furnish it well.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
History is full of people who went to prison or were burned at the stake for proclaiming their ideas. Society has always defended itself.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
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.
Law is merely the expression of the will of the strongest for the time being, and therefore laws have no fixity, but shift from generation to generation.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
If we look at Houston, which is a very environmentally toxic place, we find that it has one of the highest levels of young men going to prison and also among the highest levels of illiteracy in the country.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
I was put into jail as I was going to the shoemaker's to get a shoe which was mended. When I was let out the next morning, I proceeded to finish my errand, and, having put on my mended shoe, joined a huckleberry party, who were impatient to put themselves under my conduct; and in half an hour -- for the horse was soon tackled -- was in the midst of a huckleberry field, on one of our highest hills, two miles off, and then the State was nowhere to be seen.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.
The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.
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.