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Prison Quotes

Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful.

Friedrich Nietzsche
Total votes: 19

He was a first-time nonviolent possible offender, ... And under the mandatory minimums, he was put in prison for 15 years. Not only does the punishment not fit the crime, but the mandatory minimums don't give judges any discretion to look at the background of the case, to read into the specifics of the case. I don't know a judge who really is in favor of the mandatory minimums.

Carly Simon
Total votes: 10

Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law.

Oliver Goldsmith
Total votes: 9

There is no peace because the making of peace is at least as costly as the making of war - at least as exigent, at least as disruptive, at least as liable to bring disgrace and prison and death in its wake.

Daniel Berrigan
Total votes: 9

A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards, as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.

Ludwig Wittgenstein
Total votes: 14

Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization.

Winston Churchill
Total votes: 9

The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.

Clarence S. Darrow
Total votes: 7


Whatever is worthy to be loved for anything is worthy of preservation. A wise and dispassionate legislator, if any such should ever arise among men, will not condemn to death him who has done or is likely to do more service than injury to society. Blocks and gibbets are the nearest objects with legislators, and their business is never with hopes or with virtues.

Walter Savage Landor
Total votes: 13

To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.

Lewis W. Dilwyn
Total votes: 13

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.

Danny Glover
Total votes: 12

America is the land of the second chance – and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.

George W. Bush
Total votes: 11

Faults of the head are punished in this world, those of the heart in another; but as most of our vices are compound, so also is their punishment.

Charles Caleb Colton
Total votes: 13

No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.

Jeremy Taylor
Total votes: 11

Show me the prison, Show me the jail, Show me the prisoner whose life has gone stale. And I'll show you a young man with so many reasons why And there, but for fortune, go you or I.

Phil Ochs
Total votes: 3

We shall not yield to violence. We shall not be deprived of union freedoms. We shall never agree with sending people to prison for their convictions.

Lech Walesa
Total votes: 17

In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.

Eldridge Cleaver
Total votes: 12

While we have prisons it matters little which of us occupy the cells.

George Bernard Shaw
Total votes: 13

One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.

Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenal)
Total votes: 17

Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?

Jerry Brown
Total votes: 9

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

It is not at the table, but in prison, that you learn who your true friends are.

Serbian Proverb
Total votes: 15

Taught from infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.

Mary Wollstonecraft
Total votes: 13

We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Total votes: 13

I was put into jail as I was going to the shoemaker's to get a shoe which was mended. When I was let out the next morning, I proceeded to finish my errand, and, having put on my mended shoe, joined a huckleberry party, who were impatient to put themselves under my conduct; and in half an hour -- for the horse was soon tackled -- was in the midst of a huckleberry field, on one of our highest hills, two miles off, and then the State was nowhere to be seen.

Henry David Thoreau
Total votes: 17

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.

Edwin M. Schur
Total votes: 7