Prison Guards Quotes

Quotes tagged as "prison-guards" Showing 1-3 of 3
Jack Henry Abbott
“The only time they appear human is when you have a knife at their throats. The instant you remove it, they fall back into animality. Obscenity.”
Jack Henry Abbott, In the Belly of the Beast: Letters From Prison

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
“I had a chance to read Monte Christo in prison once, too, but not to the end. I observed that while Dumas tries to create a feeling of horror, he portrays the Château d'If as a rather benevolent prison. Not to mention his missing such nice details as the carrying of the latrine bucket from the cell daily, about which Dumas with the ignorance of a free person says nothing. You can figure out why Dantès could escape. For years no one searched the cell, whereas cells are supposed to be searched every week. So the tunnel was not discovered. And then they never changed the guard detail, whereas experience tells us that guards should be changed every two hours so one can check on the other. At the Château d'If they didn't enter the cells and look around for days at a time. They didn't even have any peepholes, so d'If wasn't a prison at all, it was a seaside resort. They even left a metal bowl in the cell, with which Dantès could dig through the floor. Then, finally, they trustingly sewed a dead man up in a bag without burning his flesh with a red-hot iron in the morgue and without running him through with a bayonet at the guardhouse. Dumas ought to have tightened up his premises instead of darkening the atmosphere.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The First Circle

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
“Without even discussing the question of talent, can a person become a jailer in a prison or camp if he is capable of the very least kind of useful activity? Let us ask: On the whole, can a camp keeper be a good human being? What system of moral selection does life arrange for them? The first selection takes place on assignment to the MVD armies, MVD schools, or MVD courses. Every man with the slightest speck of spiritual training, with a minimally circumspect conscience, or capacity to distinguish good from evil, is instinctively going to back out and use every available means to avoid joining this dark legion. But let us concede that he did not succeed in backing out. A second selection comes during training and the first service assignment, when the bosses themselves take a close look and eliminate all those who manifest laxity (kindness) instead of strong will and firmness (cruelty and mercilessness). And then a third selection takes place over a period of many years: All those who had not visualized where and into what they were getting themselves now come to understand and are horrified. To be constantly a weapon of violence, a constant participant in evil! Not everyone can bring himself to this, and certainly not right off. You see, you are trampling on others' lives. And inside yourself something tightens and bursts. You can't go on this was any longer! And although it is belated, men can still begin to fight their way out, report themselves ill, get disability certificates, accept lower pay, take off their shoulder boards—anything just to get out, get out, get out!
Does that mean the rest of them have got used to it? Yes. The rest of them have got used to it, and their life already seems normal to them. And useful too, of course. And even honorable. And some didn't have to get used to it; they had been that way from the start.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, Books III-IV