No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
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.
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.”
Fast closed with double grills
And triple gates – the cell
To wicked souls is hell;
But to a mind that's innocent
'Tis only iron, wood and stone.
It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
They're not supposed to show prison films in prison. Especially ones that are about escaping.
I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
I can tell you this on a stack of Bibles: prisons are archaic, brutal, unregenerative, overcrowded hell holes where the inmates are treated like animals with absolutely not one humane thought given to what they are going to do once they are released. You're an animal in a cage and you're treated like one.
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.
The mellow sweetness of pumpkin pie off a prison spoon is something you will never forget.
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.
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.
There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
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 did not for a moment feel confined, and the walls seemed a great waste of stone and mortar.