Prison Quotes

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.

He who opens a school door, closes a prison.

~Victor Hugo

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, a true place for a just man is also a prison.

~Henry David Thoreau

A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes – and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent.

~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

What other dungeon is so dark as one’s own heart! What jailer so inexorable as one’s self!

~Nathaniel Hawthorne

I’d watched too many schoolmates graduate into mental institutions, into group homes and jails, and I knew that locking people up was paranormal – against normal, not beside it. Locks didn’t cure; they strangled.

~Scott Westerfeld

Conformity is the jailer of freedom, and the enemy of growth.

~John F. Kennedy

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