Peoriah Johnson told Dudlow Jones
"I can break out of any old jail you know
The bars are iron, the walls are stone
All I need me is an old fish bone."
They're servin' fish in the jailhouse tonight
Oh boy, alright.
— Tom Waits, "Fish in the Jailhouse"
Unfortunately, it's also got a terrible track record of actually keeping criminals locked up. I'm not saying it's a revolving door, but it seems like every time I pick up the morning paper Nanosec or the archer guy has busted out.
Earl Hickey: I bet they didn't mention the 740 inmates who didn't escape!
Warden Hazelwood: I like you... you're a "prison half full" kinda guy.
He [Fred Colon] was, on the whole, a pretty good jailer: he always had a pot of tea on the go, he was as a general rule amiably disposed to most people, he was too slow to be easily fooled and he kept the cell keys in a tin box in the bottom drawer of his desk, a long way out of reach of any stick, hand, dog, cunningly thrown belt or trained Klatchian monkey spidernote
Bruce Wayne: You don't know the first thing about the American justice system, do you?
Robin: I know it's bogus.
Bruce Wayne: And how did you come to that well-thought-out conclusion?
Robin: Watching you.
— The New Batman Adventures, "Cold Comfort"
"Good God his prison has more hole in it than Swiss cheese!"
Scars: I just got out of prison.
Scars: I got 35 years, but they let me out early.
Kid: How long did you do this time?
Scars: Three days.
Chris: I do like that after he tries to blow up California with a nuclear weapon, they just go ahead and put Lex Luthor into regular jail. They even let him work in the laundry room!
David: You’d think giving Lex Luthor access to mechanical equipment would be a terrible idea. It’s not like he’s a criminal supergenius mad scientist or anything.
Chris: As long as they keep him away from the local real estate listings, they’ll be fine.
"After police completed the difficult job of arresting him, the prison psychiatrist completed the easy job of declaring [Viacheslav] Datsik insane. He was locked away in a high security mental hospital. Three years later, they moved this superhumanly violent lunatic to a minimum security clinic. See if you can spot where they made a mistake. Datsik tore through a goddamn barbed wire fence with his bare hands, stole a cell phone and escaped to Norway...So now, after multiple concussions, a four year disappearance, a diagnosis of schizophrenia, three years in a hospital for the criminally insane, a screaming jog through a barbed wire fence, a Nazi costume and the world's most ridiculous request for political asylum, he gets extradited back to Russia and the psychiatrists now declare him, get this, legally sane. Now I know what Yakov Smirnoff meant when he said that in Soviet Russia fucks don't give you."
"So it might be escape-proof for an elderly Vulcan with a gut, but not a ninety-pound Chinese acrobat you may find yourself having to imprison. But what is it with Star Trek brigs having all sorts of panels and doohickeys on the wall, too? In that episode "I Borg"—y'know, that one with Hugh the Borg?—Geordi attaches a thing to a control panel which allows a power surge for the Borg to eat energy. What is that shit even there?? But then again, the force field isn't even a good idea. You remember that episode of Star Trek: Voyager where Tuvok had to transport, like, 50 dangerous convicts in their cargo bay? This fucking genius makes fifty cages but with one open side for a force field. 'Cause I guess it's the future or somethin', and you gotta have a force field. But then later on, the power goes out and all the force fields drop. Then everybody escapes. Why not just make FUCKING CAGES, YOU STUPID ASS?! How 'bout a room with plain walls, and good old iron bars?"