The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
The thoughts of a prisoner - they're not free either. They keep returning to the same things.
The number of laws is constantly growing in all countries and, owing to this, what is called crime is very often not a crime at all, for it contains no element of violence or harm.
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.
Civilization is maintained by a very few people in a small number of places and we need only some bombs and a few prisons to blot it out altogether.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
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.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.
Law is merely the expression of the will of the strongest for the time being, and therefore laws have no fixity, but shift from generation to generation.
Federal prison, if you get any of it, you're going to have to do 85% of it. And the reason why I called it that is because I had a friend who got sent to the federal joint and his whole... it wasn't about him being in jail. He cried about the 85%.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
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.
They're not supposed to show prison films in prison. Especially ones that are about escaping.