The torment of human frustration, whatever its immediate cause, is the knowledge that the self is in prison, its vital force and 'mangled mind' leaking away in lonely, wasteful self-conflict.
In jail a man has no personality. He is a minor disposal problem and a few entries on reports. Nobody cares who loves or hates him, what he looks like, what he did with his life. Nobody reacts to him unless he gives trouble. Nobody abuses him. All that is asked of him is that he go quietly to the right cell and remain quiet when he gets there. There is nothing to fight against, nothing to be mad at. The jailers are quiet men without animosity or sadism.
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 wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
If we look at Houston, which is a very environmentally toxic place, we find that it has one of the highest levels of young men going to prison and also among the highest levels of illiteracy in the country.
I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.
Forgiveness, that noblest of all self-denial, is a virtue which he alone who can practise in himself can willingly believe in another.
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.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
The only difference between me and my fellow actors is that I've spent more time in jail.
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.
Justice is justice though it's always delayed and finally done only by mistake.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.