Quotes About Prisons

Quotes tagged as "prisons" (showing 1-29 of 29)
Angela Y. Davis
“[Prison] relieves us of the responsibility of seriously engaging with the problems of our society, especially those produced by racism and, increasingly, global capitalism.”
Angela Y. Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete?

Beau Taplin
“Hearts aren't handcuffs and people aren't prisons. When you feel it's time for you to leave, you leave. You neither need to wait to be released, nor ask for permission.”
Beau Taplin

Andy Rooney
“Christians talk as though goodness was their idea but good behavior doesn't have any religious origin. Our prisons are filled with the devout.”
Andy Rooney, Sincerely, Andy Rooney

Angela Y. Davis
“One of the reasons that so many people of color and poor people are in prison is that the deindustrialization of the economy has led to the creation of new economies and the expansion of some old ones – I have already mentioned the drug trade and the market for sexual services. At the same time, though, there are any number of communities that more than welcome prisons as a source of employment. Communities even compete with one another to be the site where new prisons will be constructed because prisons create a significant number of relatively good jobs for their residents”
Angela Y. Davis

Alexander Berkman
“Inhumanity is the keynote of stupidity in power.”
Alexander Berkman, Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist

Victor Hugo
“The merciful precepts of Christ will at last suffuse the Code and it will glow with their radiance. Crime will be considered an illness with its own doctors to replace your judges and its hospitals to replace your prisons. Liberty shall be equated with health. Ointments and oil shall be applied to limbs that were once shackled and branded. Infirmities that once were scourged with anger shall now be bathed with love. The cross in place of the gallows: sublime and yet so simple.”
Victor Hugo, The Last Day of a Condemned Man

Jane Goodall
“The least I can do is speak out for the hundreds of chimpanzees who, right now, sit hunched, miserable and without hope, staring out with dead eyes from their metal prisons. They cannot speak for themselves.”
Jane Goodall

Eugène Ionesco
“But even if I know what governs their trajectory, if I know the rules of the movement of things and how things are organized and how certain mutations, transformations, gestations take place, even if I know all that, I shall only have learnt how to get along after a fashion in the enormous gaol, the oppressive prison in which I am held. What a farce, what a snare, what a booby-trap. We were born cheated. For if we are not to know, if there is nothing to know, why do we have this longing to know?”
Eugène Ionesco, Fragments of a Journal

Sherman Alexie
“It's a weird thing. Reservations were meant to be prisons, you know? Indians were supposed to move onto reservations and die. We were supposed to disappear. But somehow or another, Indians have forgotten the reservations were meant to be death camps.”
Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Scott Lynch
“Only prisoners were ever granted easy passage into a prison.”
Scott Lynch, The Republic of Thieves

Avi Steinberg
“All across America public libraries were, and are, being shut down, while prisons-with libraries-were, and are, being built. This has been a choice the American public has been making for over thirty years.”
Avi Steinberg, Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian

Tonya Hurley
“The eyes of others my our prisons;
their thoughts our cages.”
Tonya Hurley, Ghostgirl

Cammie McGovern
“Scratch a female inmate, I've discovered, and you'll usually find a girl whose mother had terrible taste in men.”
Cammie McGovern, Neighborhood Watch

Norman Mailer
“rip the prisons
open
put the
convicts
on
television”
Norman Mailer, Deaths For The Ladies

“All hells in this world are the prisons you make in your own heart; all battles must be fought there'," said Charlie. "My grandma used to say that to me.”
Darren McKeeman, City of Apocrypha

Michel Foucault
“Is it surprising that the cellular prison, with its regular chronologies, forced labour, its authorities of surveillance and registration, its experts in normality, who continue and multiply the functions of the judge, should have become the modern instrument of penality? Is it surprising that prisons resemble factories, schools, barracks, hospitals, which all resemble prisons?”
Michel Foucault

Oscar Wilde
“But neither milk-white rose nor red
May bloom in prison air;
The shard, the pebble, and the flint,
Are what they give us there:
For flowers have been known to heal
A common man's despair.”
Oscar Wilde

“Prisons do not disappear social problems, they disappear human beings. Homelessness, unemployment, drug addiction, mental illness, and illiteracy are only a few of the problems that disappear from public view when the human beings contending with them are relegated to cages.”
Angela Davis

Leo Tolstoy
“All these institutions [prisons] seemed purposely invented for the production of depravity and vice, condensed to such a degree that no other conditions could produce it, and for the spreading of this condensed depravity and vice broadcast among the whole population.”
Leo Tolstoy, Resurrection

Michel Foucault
“...Rusche and Kirchheimer relate the different systems of punishment with the systems of production within which they operate: thus, in a slave economy, punitive mechanisms serve to provide an additional labour force -- and to constitute a body of 'civil' slaves in addition to those provided by war or trading; with feudalism, at a time when money and production were still at an early stage of development, we find a sudden increase in corporal punishments -- the body being in most cases the only property accessible; the penitentiary (the Hopital General, the Spinhuis or the Rasphuis), forced labour and the prison factory appear with the development of the mercantile economy. But the industrial system requires a free market in labour and, in the nineteenth century, the role of forced labour in the mechanisms of punishment diminishes accordingly and 'corrective' detention takes its place.”
Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison

“That which we want less of in society should rarely be privatized and that which we want more of often should be.”
William MacGregor Robson

Stephen Richards
“After a couple of weeks in Polmont, I started to become more assertive and began arguing with older, bigger boys. I loved it. This is where my ugly side would make some scary and unpredictable appearances. Even to this day, I can go from a happy-go-lucky cunt to the devil on acid.”
Stephen Richards, Lost in Care: The True Story of a Forgotten Child

Stephen Richards
“In Polmont, everyone was acting the hard man and giving it the large. I had to fight or cosh or do something to be accepted. I can tell you, it was better to be in a gang than being on your own, and I’d do anything in Polmont, no questions asked!”
Stephen Richards, Lost in Care: The True Story of a Forgotten Child

Stephen Richards
“Barlinnie Prison stands on dark and bloody ground. It is a temple of lost souls, and a place of living nightmares. It’s been the breaker of many a man’s dreams for more than a century. This prison works to a model of penitence with no pretence of rehabilitation. The criminal population that society has forsaken has filled this once, seemingly, bottomless pit to overflowing with their despair and nightmares of pain. More specifically, it is the battleground of an undeclared war that still ravages to this day, between the screws and the cons. The screws, backed by their authority, would use violence, but in return the prisoners would have to resort to their cunning, beguile, and the odd sudden act of violence.”
Stephen Richards, Lost in Care: The True Story of a Forgotten Child

Donald Jeffries
“Waldo was not alone by any means in trembling over an unjust plight. With the recent uproar over drunk driving, arrests had skyrocketed and detention centers all around the country were overflowing with bewildered motorists. Many of these dumbstruck, inebriated souls had been transferred and thoughtfully placed behind the same bars that held back murderers and rapists. Unfortunately for our heroes, they now joined the ranks of these luckless citizens.”
Donald Jeffries, The Unreals

Donald Jeffries
“At Snortin' Reformatory, a notorious Washington, D.C. jail located in the northern Virginia suburbs, The Afro-Anarchists were being thrown into a cell. It was a situation that the three of them, like many young black males in the D.C. area, had long ago come to expect as a rite of passage.
As the door slammed shut behind them, Bucktooth spoke. "Man, Phosphate, they didn't read us our rights or nothin'."
"Yeah, Phos,” Fontaine chimed in, "I didn't think they had to beat us, neither. And whoever heard of being charged with singing too loud and off-key in a public establishment? I don't believe there is no kind of law for that shit.”
Donald Jeffries, The Unreals

Christopher Zoukis
“Annual state spending alone for prison facilities is now estimated at about $52 to $62 billion, the bulk of which is spent building new facilities; operating and maintaining more prisons; providing food and health care for prisoners; and administration and staff salaries and benefits.”
Christopher Zoukis, College for Convicts: The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons

“When the poor steal, it's the rich who profit.”
Marty Rubin

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“We have glorified wealth and freedom so much that it is impossible for most of us to truly believe that a man can truly be happy in a shack or within the confines of a prison cell.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

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