The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
There are dreadful punishments enacted against thieves; but it were much better to make such good provisions, by which every man might be put in a method how to live, and so to be preserved from the fatal necessity of stealing and dying for it.
Care should be taken that the punishment does not exceed the guilt; and also that some men do not suffer for offenses for which others are not even indicted.
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
Law is merely the expression of the will of the strongest for the time being, and therefore laws have no fixity, but shift from generation to generation.
If you treat prisoners well, they will be less angry, less inclined to violence inside prison, less likely to provoke violent actions by guards, less likely to have reason to file brutality lawsuits that cost taxpayers a bundle and waste administrators' time. And most important, well-treated prisoners will be less likely to leave prison angrier, more vicious and more inclined to criminal behavior than when they went in.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
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.
I never told a victim story about my imprisonment. Instead, I told a transformation story - about how prison changed my outlook, about how I saw that communication, truth, and trust are at the heart of power.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
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.”
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.