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 degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
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.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.
And while God had work for Paul, he found him friends both in court and prison. Let persecutors send saints to prison, God can provide a keeper for their turn.
Fear can be like a prison. It is, however, a self made prison. Many are imprisoned by fear. No one else can liberate them from this prison. Others may inspire them but they must liberate themselves.
Concepts of justice must have hands and feet to carry out justice in every case in the shortest possible time and the lowest possible cost. That is the challenge to every lawyer and judge in America.
Justice is justice though it's always delayed and finally done only by mistake.
A country is in a bad state, which is governed only by laws; because a thousand things occur for which laws cannot provide, and where authority ought to interpose.
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.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
Written laws are like spiders' webs, and will, like them, only entangle and hold the poor and weak, while the rich and powerful will easily break through them.
Here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to be to restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
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.
There are few better measures of the concern a society has for its individual members and its own well being than the way it handles criminals.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.