Glenn Greenwald: Well, the existence of the Private Prison Industry is definitely one of the main problems. Private prison corporations profit by having more and more prisoners in their system. They are basically customers. And so it is in their interest to do things like work against the loosening of sentencing requirements or reforming of the drug laws or things that would enable people to get out of prison more quickly and they lobbied against these changes.
And the other part of it is that the State has a responsibility to ensure basic conditions within the prison but these prison industries have an interest to minimize costs in order to maximize profit and so, conditions within the prisons worsen and the liberties and freedoms that prisoners have continue to constrict. And so we already have one of the most merciless and harshest prison systems in the world and the way we're privatizing the present system has only made that worse on many levels.
Rob Kall: So, you've got this book out. You are going around promoting these ideas and so hopefully people will wake up. Are there any legislators that have sample legislation? Is there sample legislation on how to fix this? "
Glenn Greenwald: I think - I think, the problem is more cultural and systemic in legislative. I mean, you can pass some good bills that if you put into the same corrupt system; it is not going to make much of a difference.
Having said that, there are a couple of senators and members who have spoken out on this. The problem is that there is not really a benefit to doing it. There is not a huge constituency demanding a liberalization of our punishment schemes. But people like Jim Ladd have talked about how the United States imprisons more citizens and many country in the world and how we put people in prison for things that are trivial and minor and even for drug possession that are really matters of health and how the impact is racist and discriminatory and we need fundamental reform in the justice system, But there's really no political gain to be had by pursuing those things 'cause there few politicians who do.
Rob Kall: One last question-- You're going to talk to Occupy people living in the tents. What are you going to tell them?
Glenn Greenwald: I want to tell them that since I began writing about politics, the main question that I've had presented to me is what can we do about all this, and what makes them so inspiring and compelling is that they basically, have found the answer. I mean, they are people who are sacrificing their own interest in order to create this space of dissent and to signal to the elites that this is no longer acceptable and they've inspired huge numbers of people to do the same and to support them and I hope that they will continue doing what they are doing because it is really doing all the good.
Rob Kall: All right. Thank you so much. Glenn Greenwald, great to have you on the show. Great success with your book.
Glenn Greenwald: I appreciate it. Bye-