Interview Part 3

Glenn Langohr



EL: Well, there’s a trend toward privatization of prisons? Is there not?

GL: Yeah. There is. There’s — yeah that’s an ugly aspect of it. That’s an ugly aspect of it. There’s actually stocks being traded for, uhh — for, the — the private — the private prisons. And that’s an ugly aspect of it — it’s disgusting;

EL: Oh my god,

GL: Yeah; it’s disgusting. That, you know — they’re profiting off of — off of a disease. — I’ll tell you this: 70% of the people in California in prisons are there for drug-related charges. And the biggest bulk of it — is: homeless … poverty … drug addicts, petty thefts, petty thefts with priors …  — People that just can’t get a job and maintain a drug high and maintain a living standard end up becoming prisoners. And so 70% are like that: I’d say a smaller percentage are hardcore gang members, an even smaller percentage are murderers, rapists, and robbers … the biggest percentage are the mellow — are basically like — I mean if this was the ’60s, we — I mean in the 60s we didn’t have uh; all these prisons and we only locked people up for real reasons, like murder, robbery, um, rape: stuff like that. And drug war was no — it wasn’t an issue back then, and half the people that were using drugs are now our politicians. So: kind of funny.

EL: There’s horrible hypocrisy in and out, all the way around …

GL: Yeah.

EL: I don’t know why … we’re putting people with diseases and with medical problems into prison, and then recycling them over and over again until they’re completely burned out and done.

GL: Yeah, and one other aspect I’d say my writing gets across is that the prison — the prisons are breeding bigger criminals: because you stick a bunch of people in there, like — I’ll give you an example … Like: Sally. Sally from the rich area of Orange County has a son named Scotty. And Scotty is — is a surfer dude. And he’s — he’s just a really clean cut looking guy: GQ looking — and because he becomes addicted to … uh; opiates or oxycontin, or the pharmaceutical drugs that are so prevalent in our high schools; because he — because he becomes addicted to that he ends up becoming a heroin addict, and he ends up going to prison. And while he’s in prison, Sally’s — Sally’s son Scotty becomes a skinhead. You know — just surviving in there, you know he might get tattoos … and … it’s — it’s a gang breeding area. So it’s like — you go in there and the first thing they ask you before they put you on the mainline is, are you a wood or are you a skinhead? And I was old enough and smart enough to know that I shouldn’t say either one. So I’d say can’t I just be a white person? You know — why you gotta classify me as a: “wood”? I mean; what — peckerwood? I mean that’s, that’s — come on, that’s, like — how many hundreds of years ago was that stuff? And — so I only have that choice or a skinhead. So you have to say you’re white. It’s the same — if you’re Mexican, they ask you are you a — a Southern Mexican or are you a — what gang are you from? If you’re black: are you a Blood or are you a Crip. You know the smart people say I’m — I’m white or I’m black or I’m Mexican, I’m just a man; and other people that aren’t so smart say that I’m — I’m this and that and they raise their hand and bam the next thing you know, they’re being — called uh; a gang member of something. It just steers that — it just steers that direction. It steers that direction. So somebody can go in there with a petty drug problem, and come out tattooed down on his face and stuff like that; because he just couldn’t handle prison …

EL: That’s horrific, man. That makes me sick.

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