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Prison Quotes

In prisons, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.

Eldridge Cleaver
Total votes: 12

I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.

Calvin Coolidge
Total votes: 18

Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a God.

Jean Rostand
Total votes: 8

There are few better measures of the concern a society has for its individual members and its own well being than the way it handles criminals.

Ramsey Clark
Total votes: 13

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: 12

Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.

A. R. Ammons
Total votes: 10

Nelson Mandela and Malcolm X came out of prison stronger.

Philip Emeagwali
Total votes: 10

They're not supposed to show prison films in prison. Especially ones that are about escaping.

Steve Buscemi
Total votes: 12

A variety in punishment is of utility, as well as a proportion.

George Washington
Total votes: 8

Only free men can negotiate. Prisoners cannot enter into contracts.

Nelson Mandela
Total votes: 14

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.

Elizabeth Drew
Total votes: 18

Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Total votes: 10

The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.

Horace Mann
Total votes: 18

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: 11

Prison makes you a better judge of character. You pick up on people much faster.

Suge Knight
Total votes: 15

If it's near dinner-time, the foreman takes out his watch when the jury has retired, and says: "Dear me, gentlemen, ten minutes to five, I declare! I dine at five, gentlemen." "So do I," says everybody else, except two men who ought to have dined at three and seem more than half disposed to stand out in consequence. The foreman smiles, and puts up his watch:--"Well, gentlemen, what do we say, plaintiff or defendant, gentlemen?

Charles Dickens
Total votes: 9

Self is the only prison that can bind the soul.

Henry Van Dyke
Total votes: 12

A sick person is a prisoner.

Yemeni Proverb
Total votes: 8

No man survives when freedom fails. The best men rot in filthy jails, and those who cry 'appease, appease' are hanged by those they tried to please.

Hiram Mann
Total votes: 14

And while God had work for Paul, he found him friends both in court and prison. Let persecutors send saints to prison, God can provide a keeper for their turn.

William Gurnall
Total votes: 9

The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.

Henry Ward Beecher
Total votes: 15

It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.

Mario Vargas Llosa
Total votes: 10

It is not at the table, but in prison, that you learn who your true friends are.

Serbian Proverb
Total votes: 14

It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations.

Jacques Yves Cousteau
Total votes: 11


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: 12