The contagion of crime is like that of the plague. Criminals collected together corrupt each other; they are worse than ever when at the termination of their punishment they re-enter society.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
The only difference between me and my fellow actors is that I've spent more time in jail.
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.
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.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.
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.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
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.
Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
Adversities such as being homeless and going to prison has made many people stronger.
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.
Every crime has, in the moment of its perpetration, Its own avenging angel--dark misgiving, An ominous sinking at the inmost heart.