To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder.
Prisons don't rehabilitate, they don't punish, they don't protect, so what the hell do they do?
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.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards, as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.
I know not whether laws be right, or whether laws be wrong; All that we know who lie in gaol is that the wall is strong; And that each day is like a year, a year whose days are long.
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.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
Whatever you think of de Sade, he was a complex figure and we should not look for easy answers with him. He was, strangely perhaps, against the death penalty, and he was never put in prison for murders or anything like that.
I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
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 common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.
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?
If you treat prisoners well, they will be less angry, less inclined to violence inside prison, less likely to provoke violent actions by guards, less likely to have reason to file brutality lawsuits that cost taxpayers a bundle and waste administrators' time. And most important, well-treated prisoners will be less likely to leave prison angrier, more vicious and more inclined to criminal behavior than when they went in.
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.