If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
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.
A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.
Written laws are like spiders' webs, and will, like them, only entangle and hold the poor and weak, while the rich and powerful will easily break through them.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
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.
It is safer that a bad man should not be accused, than that he should be acquitted.
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.
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.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
They're not supposed to show prison films in prison. Especially ones that are about escaping.
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.
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.
If two people fight on the street, whose fault is it? Who is the criminal? It is the government’s responsibility because the government has not educated the people to not make mistakes. The people have inadequate, incompetent education, so they make mistakes! It is such a fraud.
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.