It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
The perfection of a thing consists in its essence; there are perfect criminals, as there are men of perfect probity.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
History is full of people who went to prison or were burned at the stake for proclaiming their ideas. Society has always defended itself.
Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrist? And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists? And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air? Oh they're taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.
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.
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.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them.
Society has used the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.
One of the problems that the marijuana reform movement consistently faces is that everyone wants to talk about what marijuana does, but no one ever wants to look at what marijuana prohibition does. Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows.
If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.
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.
Prison continues, on those who are entrusted to it, a work begun elsewhere, which the whole of society pursues on each individual through innumerable mechanisms of discipline.