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.
I just remember that disturbing feeling of walking into that prison, the complete loss of privacy, the complete loss of stimulation, dignity.
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.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.
Faults of the head are punished in this world, those of the heart in another; but as most of our vices are compound, so also is their punishment.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
Forgiveness, that noblest of all self-denial, is a virtue which he alone who can practise in himself can willingly believe in another.
America is the land of the second chance – and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.
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.
We don't seem to be able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business.
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.
A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.
They were being driven to a prison, through no fault of their own, in all probability for life. In comparison, how much easier it would be to walk to the gallows than to this tomb of living horrors!
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.