It is impossible to go through life without trust: That is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.
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.
Here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to be to restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
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.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
Corporal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass, Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron, Can be retentive to the strength of spirit; But life, being weary of these worldly bars, Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
Overlook our deeds, since you know that crime was absent from our inclination.
To be in prison so long, it's difficult to remember exactly what you did to get there.
Women now have choices. They can be married, not married, have a job, not have a job, be married with children, unmarried with children. Men have the same choice we've always had: work, or prison.
If you strike at, imprison, or kill us, out of our prisons or graves we will still evoke a spirit that will thwart you, and perhaps, raise a force that will destroy you! We defy you! Do your worst!
Law is merely the expression of the will of the strongest for the time being, and therefore laws have no fixity, but shift from generation to generation.
We're in a war. People who blast some pot on a casual basis are guilty of treason.
Forgiveness, that noblest of all self-denial, is a virtue which he alone who can practise in himself can willingly believe in another.
The contagion of crime is like that of the plague. Criminals collected together corrupt each other; they are worse than ever when at the termination of their punishment they re-enter society.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.