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Prison Quotes

The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.

Attributed to Fyodor Dostoevsky (Unverfied)
Total votes: 25

The most anxious man in a prison is the governor.

George Bernard Shaw
Total votes: 19

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.”

Father James Keller
Total votes: 18


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.

Anacharsis
Total votes: 18

Fear can be like a prison. It is, however, a self made prison. Many are imprisoned by fear. No one else can liberate them from this prison. Others may inspire them but they must liberate themselves.

Mr. Prophet
Total votes: 26

To be in prison so long, it's difficult to remember exactly what you did to get there.

Jack Henry Abbott
Total votes: 17

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.

P. D. Ouspensky
Total votes: 15

Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.

Charles Robert Maturin
Total votes: 19

Concepts of justice must have hands and feet to carry out justice in every case in the shortest possible time and the lowest possible cost. That is the challenge to every lawyer and judge in America.

Warren E. Burger
Total votes: 18

The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.

Aung San Suu Kyi
Total votes: 17

When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.

Mike Tyson
Total votes: 19

If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.

John Locke
Total votes: 8

Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.

Thomas Denman
Total votes: 15

The punishment can be remitted; the crime is everlasting.

Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso)
Total votes: 22

The severest justice may not always be the best policy.

Abraham Lincoln
Total votes: 16

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.

George Bernard Shaw
Total votes: 21

I don't like being famous - it is like a prison. And driving for Ferrari would make it far worse.

Valentino Rossi
Total votes: 19

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

Jerry Brown
Total votes: 18

Money will determine whether the accused goes to prison or walks out of the courtroom a free man.

Johnnie Cochran
Total votes: 21

Fast closed with double grills And triple gates–the cell To wicked souls is hell; But to a mind that's innocent 'Tis only iron, wood and stone.

Paul Pelisson Fontanier
Total votes: 21


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: 19

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: 7

The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.

H. L. Mencken
Total votes: 13

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.

Henry David Thoreau
Total votes: 14

When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.

Mike Tyson
Total votes: 27