If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
You utter a vow, or forge a signature, and you may find yourself bound for life to a monastery, a woman, or prison.
I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
The torment of human frustration, whatever its immediate cause, is the knowledge that the self is in prison, its vital force and 'mangled mind' leaking away in lonely, wasteful self-conflict.
When is conduct a crime, and when is a crime not a crime? When Somebody Up There -- a monarch, a dictator, a Pope, a legislator -- so decrees.
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.
The only effect of public punishment is to show the rabble how bravely it can be borne; and that every one who hath lost a toe-nail hath suffered worse.
The only difference between me and my fellow actors is that I've spent more time in jail.
Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrist? And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists? And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air? Oh they're taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
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.
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.
To be in prison so long, it's difficult to remember exactly what you did to get there.
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%.
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.