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.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
Three hundred years ago a prisoner condemned to the Tower of London carved on the wall of his cell this sentiment to keep up his spirits during his long imprisonment: “It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear adversity.”
Those magistrates who can prevent crime, and do not, in effect encourage it.
The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
Justice is that virtue of the soul which is distributive according to desert.
Fear can be like a prison. It is, however, a self made prison. Many are imprisoned by fear. No one else can liberate them from this prison. Others may inspire them but they must liberate themselves.
It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their own kind.
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.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
Show me the prison, Show me the jail, Show me the prisoner whose life has gone stale. And I'll show you a young man with so many reasons why And there, but for fortune, go you or I.
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.
The thoughts of a prisoner - they're not free either. They keep returning to the same things.
Organized crime in America takes in over forty billion dollars a year. This is quite a profitable sum, especially when one considers that the Mafia spends very little for office supplies.