Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
We who live in prison, and in whose lives there is no event but sorrow, have to measure time by throbs of pain, and the record of bitter moments.
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.
Intellectual despair results in neither weakness nor dreams, but in violence. It is only a matter of knowing how to give vent to one's rage; whether one only wants to wander like madmen around prisons, or whether one wants to overturn them.
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.
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.”
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.
Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrist? And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists? And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air? Oh they're taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.
One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.
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.