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.
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.
It is true you cannot eat freedom and you cannot power machinery with democracy. But then neither can political prisoners turn on the light in the cells of a dictatorship.
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.
Governments have tried to stop crime through punishment throughout the ages, but crime continued in the past punishment remains. Crime can only be stopped through a preventive approach in the schools. You teach the students Transcendental Meditation, and right away they’ll begin using their full brain physiology sensible and they will not get sidetracked into wrong things.
Three hundred years ago a prisoner condemned to the Tower of London carved on the wall of his cell this sentiment to keep up his spirits during his long imprisonment: “It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear adversity.”
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
The thoughts of a prisoner - they're not free either. They keep returning to the same things.
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.
They're not supposed to show prison films in prison. Especially ones that are about escaping.
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.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
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.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.