To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
The only effect of public punishment is to show the rabble how bravely it can be borne; and that every one who hath lost a toe-nail hath suffered worse.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
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.
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.
A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards, as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
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.
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.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.
There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.
Civilization is maintained by a very few people in a small number of places and we need only some bombs and a few prisons to blot it out altogether.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
On a planet that increasingly resembles one huge Maximum Security prison, the only intelligent choice is to plan a jail break.