Civilization is maintained by a very few people in a small number of places and we need only some bombs and a few prisons to blot it out altogether.
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
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.
The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.
They were being driven to a prison, through no fault of their own, in all probability for life. In comparison, how much easier it would be to walk to the gallows than to this tomb of living horrors!
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
Every instance of a man's suffering the penalty of the law is an instance of the failure of that penalty in effecting its purpose, which is to deter.
In a civilized society, all crimes are likely to be sins, but most sins are not and ought not to be treated as crimes.
Care should be taken that the punishment does not exceed the guilt; and also that some men do not suffer for offenses for which others are not even indicted.
The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.
To be in prison so long, it's difficult to remember exactly what you did to get there.
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.
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.
It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.
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.