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.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
If we look at Houston, which is a very environmentally toxic place, we find that it has one of the highest levels of young men going to prison and also among the highest levels of illiteracy in the country.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
The idea that the sole aim of punishment is to prevent crime is obviously grounded upon the theory that crime can be prevented, which is almost as dubious as the notion that poverty can be prevented.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.
To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.
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.
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.
I just remember that disturbing feeling of walking into that prison, the complete loss of privacy, the complete loss of stimulation, dignity.
A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.