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.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
We who live in prison, and in whose lives there is no event but sorrow, have to measure time by throbs of pain, and the record of bitter moments.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
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.
Before we can diminish our sufferings from the ill-controlled aggressive assaults of fellow citizens, we must renounce the philosophy of punishment, the obsolete, vengeful penal attitude. In its place we would seek a comprehensive, constructive social attitude - therapeutic in some instances, restraining in some instances, but preventive in its total social impact. In the last analysis this becomes a question of personal morals and values. No matter how glorified or how piously disguised, vengeance as a human motive must be personally repudiated by each and every one of us.
Any punishment that does not correct, that can merely rouse rebellion in whoever has to endure it, is a piece of gratuitous infamy which makes those who impose it more guilty in the eyes of humanity, good sense and reason, nay a hundred times more guilty than the victim on whom the punishment is inflicted.
On a planet that increasingly resembles one huge Maximum Security prison, the only intelligent choice is to plan a jail break.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.
Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.
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.
Whatever you think of de Sade, he was a complex figure and we should not look for easy answers with him. He was, strangely perhaps, against the death penalty, and he was never put in prison for murders or anything like that.