We don't seem to be able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business.
When is conduct a crime, and when is a crime not a crime? When Somebody Up There -- a monarch, a dictator, a Pope, a legislator -- so decrees.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.
Since 1957, black people have experienced double-digit unemployment - in good times and bad times. Look at the population of African Americans in prison. They represent more than half the population of prisoners in the country, 55 percent of those on death row.
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.
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.
Every crime has, in the moment of its perpetration, Its own avenging angel--dark misgiving, An ominous sinking at the inmost heart.
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.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
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.
It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.