On average, drug prisoners spend more time in federal prison than rapists, who often get out on early release because of the overcrowding in prison caused by the Drug War.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
He was a first-time nonviolent possible offender, ... And under the mandatory minimums, he was put in prison for 15 years. Not only does the punishment not fit the crime, but the mandatory minimums don't give judges any discretion to look at the background of the case, to read into the specifics of the case. I don't know a judge who really is in favor of the mandatory minimums.
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.
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.
If we were brought to trial for the crimes we have committed against ourselves, few would escape the gallows.
Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that often [is] considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.
A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
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.
It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.
I was put into jail as I was going to the shoemaker's to get a shoe which was mended. When I was let out the next morning, I proceeded to finish my errand, and, having put on my mended shoe, joined a huckleberry party, who were impatient to put themselves under my conduct; and in half an hour -- for the horse was soon tackled -- was in the midst of a huckleberry field, on one of our highest hills, two miles off, and then the State was nowhere to be seen.
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.
The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.
Prison makes you a better judge of character. You pick up on people much faster.
We don't seem to be able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.