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Prison Quotes

I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.

Jeffrey Archer
Total votes: 10

The power of punishment is to silence, not to confute.

Samuel Johnson
Total votes: 10

As we grow in wisdom, we pardon more freely.

Madame de Stael
Total votes: 11

When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.

Reverend Martin Niemoeller
Total votes: 17

Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Total votes: 14

Justice is justice though it's always delayed and finally done only by mistake.

George Bernard Shaw
Total votes: 13

The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
 

Bertrand Russell
Total votes: 47

You stuff somebody into the American dream, and it becomes a prison.

Craig L. Thomas
Total votes: 12

Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass, Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron, Can be retentive to the strength of spirit; But life, being weary of these worldly bars, Never lacks power to dismiss itself.

William Shakespeare
Total votes: 12

I have paid no poll-tax for six years. I was put into a jail once on this account, for one night; and, as I stood considering the walls of solid stone, I could not help being struck with the foolishness of that institution which treated me as if I were mere flesh and blood and bones, to be locked up...I saw that, if there was a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was a still more difficult one to climb or break through, before they could get to be as free as I was.

Henry David Thoreau
Total votes: 11

They were being driven to a prison, through no fault of their own, in all probability for life. In comparison, how much easier it would be to walk to the gallows than to this tomb of living horrors!

Nellie Bly
Total votes: 16

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.

A. E. Housman
Total votes: 17

Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.

Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso)
Total votes: 20

We have our own system, ... and journalists in our system are not put in prison for embarrassing the government by revealing things the government might not wish to have revealed. The important thing is that our system, under which journalists can write without fear or favor, should continue.

Chris Patten
Total votes: 15

We are prisoners of ideas.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Total votes: 15

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.

Oscar Wilde
Total votes: 21

It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their own kind.

George Bernard Shaw
Total votes: 13

Intellectual despair results in neither weakness nor dreams, but in violence. It is only a matter of knowing how to give vent to one's rage; whether one only wants to wander like madmen around prisons, or whether one wants to overturn them.

Georges Bataille
Total votes: 15

Any punishment that does not correct, that can merely rouse rebellion in whoever has to endure it, is a piece of gratuitous infamy which makes those who impose it more guilty in the eyes of humanity, good sense and reason, nay a hundred times more guilty than the victim on whom the punishment is inflicted.

Marquis de Sade
Total votes: 9

There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.

William Glasser
Total votes: 13

The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.

Henry Ward Beecher
Total votes: 15

There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.

Seneca
Total votes: 16

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.

H. L. Mencken
Total votes: 14

Hard cases, it is said, make bad law.

Lord John Campbell
Total votes: 20

It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.

Jacques Yves Cousteau
Total votes: 11