It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.
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.
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.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
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.
Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.
There is no peace because the making of peace is at least as costly as the making of war - at least as exigent, at least as disruptive, at least as liable to bring disgrace and prison and death in its wake.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
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.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
Concepts of justice must have hands and feet to carry out justice in every case in the shortest possible time and the lowest possible cost. That is the challenge to every lawyer and judge in America.
The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.
Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization.
There's no greater threat to our independence, to our cherished freedoms and personal liberties than the continual, relentless injection of these insidious poisons into our system. We must decide whether we cherish independence from drugs, without which there is no freedom.