Top Prison Life Quotes

Browse top 102 famous quotes and sayings about Prison Life by most favorite authors.

Favorite Prison Life Quotes

1. "You…." just you, always you. My russian Cu**, my enemy, my comrade, my prisoner, my gaoler and my life. Words unthinking. "Love……you."
Author: Aleksandr Voinov
2. "I suppose that it was inevitable that my word-base broadened. I could now for the first time pick up a book and read and now begin to understand what the book was saying. Anyone who has read a great deal can imagine the new world that opened. Let me tell you something: from then until I left that prison, in every free moment I had, if I was not reading in the library, I was reading in my bunk. You couldn't have gotten me out of my books with a wedge...Months passed without my even thinking about being imprisoned. In fact, up to then, I never had been so truly free in my life."
Author: Alex Haley
3. "(To The Youth) "...you know and everybody knows that life has failed to bring the light of hope to my eyes, draw a smile on my face, and create joy in my heart. You know and everybody knows that being tortured for you, being imprisoned for you and suffering for your sake has been the only joy I have ever had..... it is from your joy that I feel comfort, it is your freedom that brings the light of hope to my sight, it is your comfort that I feel relaxed in my heart.... I cannot speak well or write well... please note the hidden force under my simple lousy words.. please understand... please understand ! I love you and consider you my only friend; all my life, all the days and nights, every moment of my life is a witness to my love and dedication for you. Your freedom is my doctrine, your success is my affection, your future is my only hope!"
Author: Ali Shariati
4. "I'm simply acting according to my current circumstance." Logan blew a smoke ring, scenting the air with tobacco and cloves. "I thought prisoners were always granted a cigarette before their execution. And since you all keep threatening to kill me, I believe I should always have this small luxury afforded to me as long as my life is a risk. Don't you?"
Author: Andrea Cremer
5. "We are imprisoned in the realm of life, like a sailor on his tiny boat, on an infinite ocean."
Author: Anna Freud
6. "By dint of vision, and determination, and most of all faith in the redeeming power of love, he endured the humiliation of arrest, the loneliness of a prison cell, the constant threats to his life, until he finally inspired a nation to transform itself, and begin to live up to the meaning of its creed."— Senator Obama"
Author: Barack Obama
7. "Lucy seemed to be imprisoned by a legion of people in her life who always wanted what was right for her. And as a result, in the eyes of everyone, she had everything... and yet she always, always felt she had nothing. No one."
Author: C. JoyBell C.
8. "Once Incarceron became a dragon, and a Prisoner crawled into his lair. They made a wager. They would ask each other riddles, and the one who could not answer would lose. It it was the man, he would give his life. The Prison offered a secret way of Escape. But even as the man agreed, he felt its hidden laughter.They played for a year and a day. The lights stayed dark. The dead were not removed. Food was not provided. The Prison ignored the cries of its inmates.Sapphique was the man. He had one riddle left. He said, "What is the Key that unlocks the heart?"For a day Incarceron thought. For two days. For three. Then it said, "If I ever knew the answer, I have forgotten it."--Sapphique in the Tunnels of Madness"
Author: Catherine Fisher
9. "The boy was lying, fast asleep, on a rude bed upon the floor; so pale with anxiety, and sadness, and the closeness of his prison, that he looked like death; not death as it shews in shroud and coffin, but in the guise it wears when life has just departed; when a young and gentle spirit has, but an instant, fled to Heaven: and the gross air of the world has not had time to breathe upon the changing dust it hallowed."
Author: Charles Dickens
10. "Just suppose that the dead do revisit the living. That something approximately to be described as Jim can return to see how George is making out. Would this be at all satisfactory? Would it even be worthwhile? At best, surely, it would be like the brief visit of an observer from another country who is permitted to peep in for a moment from the vast outdoors of his freedom and see, at a distance, through glass, this figure who sits solitary at the small table in the narrow room, eating his poached eggs humbly and dully, a prisoner for life."
Author: Christopher Isherwood
11. "God is not a celestial prison warden jangling the keys on a bunch of lifers--he's a shepherd seeking for sheep, a woman searching for coins, a father waiting for his son."
Author: Clarence Jordan
12. "The prisoner of doubt ends his stint [through suicide], released to the custody of that final question mark which punctuates every life sentence."
Author: Dan Garfat Pratt
13. "Hope is always about the future. And it isn't always good news. Sometimes, hope can imprison us with belief or expectation that something will happen in the future to change our lives. Similarly hopelessness isn't always about despair. Hopelessness can bring us right into this very moment and answer all of life's most difficult questions. Who am I? Where am I? What does this mean? And what now?"
Author: Daniel Gottlieb
14. "So a war begins. Into a peace-time life, comes an announcement, a threat. A bomb drops somewhere, potential traitors are whisked off quietly to prison. And for some time, days, months, a year perhaps, life has a peace-time quality, into which war-like events intrude. But when a war has been going on for a long time, life is all war, every event has the quality of war, nothing of peace remains. Events and the life in which they are embedded have the same quality. But since it is not possible that events are not part of the life they occur in -- it is not possible that a bomb should explode into a texture of life foreign to it -- all that means is that one has not understood, one has not been watching."
Author: Doris Lessing
15. "With my somewhat vague aspiring mind, to be imprisoned in the rude details of a most material life was often irksome."
Author: Edward Carpenter
16. "I was an opportunist and got away with things because I was very young, but I went to prison and came out and remade my life."
Author: Frank Abagnale
17. "Symbols, for me and for many, of freedom, whether it be from the prison of over-dense communities and the close confines of human relationships, from the less complex incarceration of office walls and hours, or simply freedom from the prison of adult life and an escape into the forgotten world of childhood, of the individual or the race. For I am convinced that man has suffered in his separation from the soil and from the other living creatures of the world; the evolution of his intellect has outrun his needs as an animal, and as yet he must still, for security, look long at some portion of the earth as it was before he tampered with it."
Author: Gavin Maxwell
18. "America is the land of the second chance - and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life."
Author: George W. Bush
19. "Signs imply ways of living, possibilities of existence, they are the symptoms of an overflowing (jaillissante) or exhausted (épuisée) life. But an artist cannot be content with an exhausted life, nor with a personal life. One does not write with one's ego, one's memory, and one's illnesses. In the act of writing there's an attempt to make life something more personal, to liberate life from what imprisons it...There is a profound link between signs, the event, life, and vitalism. It is the power of nonorganic life, that which can be found in a line of a drawing, a line of writing, a line of music. It is organisms that die, not life. There is no work of art that does not indicate an opening for life, a path between the cracks. Everything I have written has been vitalistic, at least I hope so, and constitutes a theory of signs and the event."
Author: Gilles Deleuze
20. "The truth is we all struggle with a broken heart, tongue, and life! But the more we try to hide, the more we begin to live a life imprisoned with lies instead of living a life of freedom because we haven't been able to embrace the truth…"
Author: Heather Bixler
21. "This was 1941 and I'd been in prison eleven years. I was thirty-five. I'd spent the best years of my life either in a cell or in a black-hole. I'd only had seven months of total freedom with my Indian tribe. The children my Indian wives must have had by me would be eight years old now. How terrible! How quickly the time had flashed by! But a backward glance showed all these hours and minutes studding my calvary as terribly long, and each one of them hard to bear."
Author: Henri Charrière
22. "To move forward clinging to the past is like dragging a ball and chain. 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. We are all guilty of crime, the great crime of not living life to the full. But we are all potentially free. We can stop thinking of what we have failed to do and do whatever lies within our power. What these powers that are in us may be no one has truly dared to imagine. That they are infinite we will realize the day we admit to ourselves that imagination is everything. Imagination is the voice of daring. If there is anything God-like about God it is that. He dared to imagine everything."
Author: Henry Miller
23. "Reading is like looking through several windows which open to an infinite landscape....For me life without reading would be like being in prison, it would be as if my spirit were in a straightjacket; life would be a very dark and narrow place."
Author: Isabel Allende
24. "...and every Wednesday the perfumed young lady slips me a hundred-crown note to leave her alone with the convict. And by Thursday the hundred crowns are already gone in so much beer. And when the visiting hour is over, the young lady comes out with the stink of jail in her elegant clothes; and the prisoner goes back to his cell with the lady's perfume in his jailbird's suit. And I'm left with the smell of beer. Life is nothing but trading smells."
Author: Italo Calvino
25. "Carpe diem and shit got me in jail. Got me on narcotics. I love narcotics. I love jail. I'm writing this in the prison library on heroin. You only never live is more like it. Because when you die life is not an afterthought, just a trailing naval chord which spontaneously combusts into pre-birth nothingness. I have to go now because the guard's a jerk. This healthy yogurt thing contains high fructose corn syrup. This is fucky. Later."
Author: Jack Black
26. "It made me alert, like someone had scrubbed mint all over my skin. I'd walk into that stinking, miserable prison and for the next three hours, a wise and beautiful woman would float out of the wreckage of my life, and her words and thoughts and tiniest movements were precious."
Author: Jennifer Egan
27. "Agnes Shay had the true spirit of a maid. Moistened with dishwater and mild eau de cologne, reared in narrow and sunless bedrooms, in back passages, back stairs, laundries, linen closets, and in those servants' halls that remind one of a prison, her soul had grown docile and bleak...Agnes loved the ceremonies of a big house. She drew the curtains in the living room at dark, lighted the candles on the table, and struck the dinner chimes like an eager altar boy. On fine evenings, when she sat on the back porch between the garbage pails and the woodbins, she liked to recall the faces of all the cooks she had known. It made her life seem rich."
Author: John Cheever
28. "Everything I've read about Christians in prison for their non-violent witness to Christ rings true. Whether it's St. Paul, St. Edmund Campion, Dorothy Day or Dr. King, the experience remains the same: God comes close to those in prison. God's spirit is unleashed on the person who suffers imprisonment in a spirit of obedient love. God is a God of prisoners, a God of the poor, a God of the oppressed--but most of all, as the life of Jesus testifies, a God of nonviolent resisters. God is a God of nonviolence and peace."
Author: John Dear
29. "I'd love to tearfully absorb you in every way and I'd love to play with your hair, read your eyes, feel disarmed in your presence. I'd love to experience a seizure of full-silenced tenderness with you and at the same time dwell on your Dionysian idiosyncrasy of red, slightly heated wine, constant passion and chaos; How can I even imprison this desire into mere letters structured together in order to form a coherent meaning? There is no meaning. Darling! Darling! You can flash "meaning" down the toilet if you wish. Still, I'd love to share a life full of richness with you: Richness not in terms of events, incidents, facts or experiences; but richness in terms of a colourful, adventurous, enthusiastically unraveling life. I'd love to lose all privileges of existence as long as I might have a small chance of walking on water with you."
Author: Katherine Mansfield
30. "Trent was Cincinnati's most eligible bachelor, still single because of me. He'd thanked me for that in a weird moment of honesty when he thought we might die in a demon's prison cell. I was still wondering why I'd bothered to save his little elf butt. Misplaced responsibility, maybe? That I'd saved his life didn't seem to mean anything to him, since he had tried to make my skull one with a tombstone not three seconds after I got us safe."
Author: Kim Harrison
31. "We will go out into the world and plant gardens and orchards to the horizons, we will build roads through the mountains and across the deserts, and terrace the mountains and irrigate the deserts until there will be garden everywhere, and plenty for all, and there will be no more empires or kingdoms, no more caliphs, sultans, emirs, khans, or zamindars, no more kings or queens or princes, no more quadis or mullahs or ulema, no more slavery and no more usury, no more property and no more taxes, no more rich and no more poor, no killing or maiming or torture or execution, no more jailers and no more prisoners, no more generals, soldiers, armies or navies, no more patriarchy, no more caste, no more hunger, no more suffering than what life brings us for being born and having to die, and then we will see for the first time what kind of creatures we really are."
Author: Kim Stanley Robinson
32. "There was a photograph of Trout. He was an old man with a full black beard. He looked like a frightened, aging Jesus, whose sentence to crucifixion had been commuted to imprisonment for life."
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
33. "There was a Japanese TV set in front of us. There were Japanese TV sets all over the prison. They were like portholes on an ocean liner. The passengers were in a state of suspended animation until the big ship got where it was going. But anytime they wanted, the passengers could look through a porthole and see the real world out there.Life was like an ocean liner to a lot of people who weren't in prison, too, of course. And their TV sets were portholes through which they could look while doing nothing, to see all the World was doing with no help from them.Look at it go!"
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
34. "They say: sufferings are misfortunes," said Pierre. 'But if at once this minute, I was asked, would I remain what I was before I was taken prisoner, or go through it all again, I should say, for God's sake let me rather be a prisoner and erat horseflesh again. We imagine that as soon as we are torn out of our habitual path all is over, but it is only the beginning of something new and good. As long as there is life, there is happiness. There is a great deal, a great deal before us."
Author: Leo Tolstoy
35. "And that's the riddle of existence for you. When to move and when to stay. Dwell too long and we become the prisoner of our dreams, or someone else's. Move too fast, live without pause, and you'll miss it all, your whole life a blur of doing. Good lives are built of moments – of times when we step back and truly see. The dream and the dreamer. There's the rub. Does the dream ever let go?"
Author: Mark Lawrence
36. "Love does not involve emotions, then?" he asked her with a smile."It is not ruled by them," she told him. "Love is liking and companionship and respect and trust. Love does not dominate or try to possess. Love thrives only in a commitment to pure, mutual freedom. That is why marriage is so tricky. There are the marriage ceremony and the marriage vows and the necessity for fidelity -all of them suggestive of restraints, even imprisonment. Men talk of life sentences and leg shackles in connection with marriage, do they not? But marriage out to be just the opposite -two people agreeing to set each other free,"
Author: Mary Balogh
37. "What I did, you know, being away from my family, letting so many people down. I let myself down, not being out on the football field, being in a prison bed, in a prison bunk, writing letters home, you know. That wasn't my life."
Author: Michael Vick
38. "We could choose to be a nation that extends care, compassion, and concern to those who are locked up and locked out or headed for prison before they are old enough to vote. We could seek for them the same opportunities we seek for our own children; we could treat them like one of "us." We could do that. Or we can choose to be a nation that shames and blames its most vulnerable, affixes badges of dishonor upon them at young ages, and then relegates them to a permanent second-class status for life. That is the path we have chosen, and it leads to a familiar place."
Author: Michelle Alexander
39. "It was a survival thing: he didn't answer back, didn't say anything about job security for prison guards, debate the nature of repentance, rehabilitation, or rates of recidivism. He didn't say anything funny or clever, and, to be on the safe side, when he was talking to a prison official, whenever possible, he didn't say anything at all. Speak when you're spoken to. Do your own time. Get out. Go home. ... Rebuild a life."
Author: Neil Gaiman
40. "Ester asked why people are sad."That's simple," says the old man. "They are the prisoners of their personal history. Everyone believes that the main aim in life is to follow a plan. They never ask if that plan is theirs or if it was created by another person. They accumulate experiences, memories, things, other people's ideas, and it is more than they can possibly cope with. And that is why they forget their dreams."
Author: Paulo Coelho
41. "In China, where you can be arrested and imprisoned for your faith, getting together with other Christians is a lifeline and you'll risk anything for the privilege. No one attends church in China casually, or for a social advantage - quite the opposite."
Author: Philip Yancey
42. "The Stanford prison experiment came out of class exercises in which I encouraged students to understand the dynamics of prison life."
Author: Philip Zimbardo
43. "I am at a loss to understand why people hold Miss Austen's novels at so high a rate, which seem to me vulgar in tone, sterile in artistic invention, imprisoned in their wretched conventions of English society, without genius, wit, or knowledge of the world. Never was life so pinched and narrow. ... All that interests in any character [is this]: has he (or she) the money to marry with? ... Suicide is more respectable."
Author: Ralph Waldo Emerson
44. "Miss Austen's novels … seem to me vulgar in tone, sterile in artistic invention, imprisoned in the wretched conventions of English society, without genius, wit, or knowledge of the world. Never was life so pinched and narrow. The one problem in the mind of the writer … is marriageableness."
Author: Ralph Waldo Emerson
45. "Relationship is the prison in lifemarriage is the death of life"."
Author: Richard Allen Whisenant
46. "All events, no matter how earthshaking or bizarre, are diluted within moments of their occurrence the the continuance of the necessary routines of day-to-day.-FitzMost prisons are of our own making. A man makes his own freedom, too.-ChadeWhen you cut pieces out of the truth to avoid looking like a fool, you end up sounding like a moron instead.-BurrichWe left. Walking uphill and into the wind. That suddenly seemed a metaphor for my whole life.-Fitz"
Author: Robin Hobb
47. "Ten minutes ago, Frank though he was going to prison. Now he knows he's not, and part of him thinks he should just be glad he's getting out of this at all, but he's not. He's not glad. He's furious. He's known the world is broken for a long time, he's known that, but sometimes he's amazed at how broken; even now, at this point in his life, nearing fifty years old, he can stumble across something that makes him realize all over again that the world is not only broken, but beyond fixing. No amount of glue can ever make it right. And yet, you have to focus on your little part of it, don't you? You have to focus on your little corner of the world and glue what cracks you can. Otherwise there's no hope at all."
Author: Ryan David Jahn
48. "There is the image of the man who imagines himself to be a prisoner in a cell. He stands at one end of this small, dark, barren room, on his toes, with arms stretched upward, hands grasping for support onto a small, barred window, the room's only apparent source of light. If he holds on tight, straining toward the window, turning his head just so, he can see a bit of bright sunlight barely visible between the uppermost bars. This light is his only hope. He will not risk losing it. And so he continues to staring toward that bit of light, holding tightly to the bars. So committed is his effort not to lose sight of that glimmer of life-giving light, that it never occurs to him to let go and explore the darkness of the rest of the cell. So it is that he never discovers that the door at the other end of the cell is open, that he is free. He has always been free to walk out into the brightness of the day, if only he would let go. (192)"
Author: Sheldon B. Kopp
49. "I find no peace, and all my war is done,I fear and hope; I burn and freeze like ice;I fly above the wind yet can I not arise;And naught I have and all the world I seize on.That looseth nor locketh holdeth me in prison,And holdeth me not, yet can I scape nowise;Nor letteth me live nor die at my devise,And yet of death it giveth none occasion.Without eyen I see, and without tongue I plain;I desire to perish, and yet I ask health;I love another, and thus I hate myself;I feed me in sorrow, and laugh in all my pain.Likewise displeaseth me both death and lifeAnd my delight is causer of this strife."
Author: Thomas Wyatt
50. "And I must smile and dance with this man, and say nothing, for he holds the key to the prison my life has become."
Author: Victoria Lamb

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My pillow is as good as any ocean to drown in the nightmare of myself. I swam all the way here from the moon."
Author: Casey Renee Kiser

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