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Many a wise person has pondered the plight of the prisoner. From Mark Twain to Oscar Wilde to Fyodor Dostoevsky, the issue of imprisonment has inspired many heartfelt remarks. The following quotes speak to our intellect as well as our emotions. In a society that rushes to warehouse human lives, we urge you to slow down, pause, and contemplate the unique reality of imprisonment. We hope you will find yourself thinking - perhaps even feeling - that we can do better.

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We want a state of things in which crime will not pay, a state of things which allows every man the largest liberty compatible with the liberty of every other man.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
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The prisoner is not the one who has committed a crime, but the one who clings to his crime and lives it over and over.
~Henry Miller
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We are all conceived in close prison; in our mother’s wombs, we are close prisoners all; when we are born, we are born but to the liberty of the house; prisoners still, though within larger walls; and then all our life is but a going out to the place of execution, to death.
~John Donne
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'He is coming! He is coming!' Like a bridegroom from his room, Came the hero from his prison To the scaffold and the doom.
~William E. Aytoun
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I was most happy when pen and paper were taken from me and I was forbidden from doing anything. I had no anxiety about doing nothing by my own fault, my conscience was clear, and I was happy. This was when I was in prison.
~Daniil Kharms
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Crime and punishment grow out of one stem. Punishment is a fruit that, unsuspected, ripens within the flower of the pleasure that concealed it.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
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If he has a conscience he will suffer for his mistake. That will be his punishment--as well as the prison.
~Fyodor Dostoevsky
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Those who talk most about the blessings of marriage and the constancy of its vows are the very people who declare that if the chain were broken and the prisoners left free to choose, the whole social fabric would fly asunder. You cannot have the argument both ways. If the prisoner is happy, why lock him in? If he is not, why pretend that he is?
~George Bernard Shaw
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Most doctors are prisoners of their education and shackled by their profession.
~Richard Diaz
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It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
~Thomas Jefferson
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