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.
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.
The uneven impact of actual enforcement measures tends to mirror and reinforce more general patterns of discrimination (along socioeconomic, racial and ethnic, sexual, and perhaps generational lines) within the society. As a consequence, such enforcement (ineffective as it may be in producing conformity) almost certainly reinforces feelings of alienation already prevalent within major segments of the population.
Fast closed with double grills And triple gates–the cell To wicked souls is hell; But to a mind that's innocent 'Tis only iron, wood and stone.
I can tell you this on a stack of Bibles: prisons are archaic, brutal, unregenerative, overcrowded hell holes where the inmates are treated like animals with absolutely not one humane thought given to what they are going to do once they are released. You're an animal in a cage and you're treated like one.
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.
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
Prison makes you a better judge of character. You pick up on people much faster.
It is impossible to go through life without trust: That is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
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.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.