The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.
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.
Justice is justice though it's always delayed and finally done only by mistake.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
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.
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.
Whatever you think of de Sade, he was a complex figure and we should not look for easy answers with him. He was, strangely perhaps, against the death penalty, and he was never put in prison for murders or anything like that.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.