We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
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.
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass, Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron, Can be retentive to the strength of spirit; But life, being weary of these worldly bars, Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
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.
I have been studying how I may compare this prison where I live unto the world; Shut up in the prison of their own consciences.
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.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
Once we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our mind, our duty is to furnish it well.
He had drawn many a thousand of these rations in prisons and camps, and though he'd never had an opportunity to weight them on scales, and although, being a man of timid nature, he knew no way of standing up for his rights, he, like every other prisoner, had discovered long ago that honest weight was never to be found in the bread-cutting. There was short weight in every ration. The only point was how short. So every day you took a look to soothe your soul - today, maybe, they haven't snitched any.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
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.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.