When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.
Forgiveness, that noblest of all self-denial, is a virtue which he alone who can practise in himself can willingly believe in another.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
I have been studying how I may compare This prison where I live unto the world; And, for because the world is populous, And here is not a creature but myself, I cannot do it. Yet I'll hammer it out.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
I never told a victim story about my imprisonment. Instead, I told a transformation story - about how prison changed my outlook, about how I saw that communication, truth, and trust are at the heart of power.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
It was only when I lay there on the rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not between states nor between social classes nor between political parties, but right through every human heart, through all human hearts. And that is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me, bless you, prison, for having been a part of my life.
I wrote a million words in the first year, and I could never have done that outside of prison.
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.
In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.
Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.
A country is in a bad state, which is governed only by laws; because a thousand things occur for which laws cannot provide, and where authority ought to interpose.
Taught from infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.
One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.
Every crime has, in the moment of its perpetration, Its own avenging angel--dark misgiving, An ominous sinking at the inmost heart.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.