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.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.
Prison continues, on those who are entrusted to it, a work begun elsewhere, which the whole of society pursues on each individual through innumerable mechanisms of discipline.
Prison, dungeons, blessed places where evil is impossible because they are the crossroads of all the evil in the world. One cannot commit evil in hell.
The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
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.
The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.
I just remember that disturbing feeling of walking into that prison, the complete loss of privacy, the complete loss of stimulation, dignity.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
Adversities such as being homeless and going to prison has made many people stronger.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
Wicked deeds are generally done, even with impunity, for the mere desire of occupation.
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.