President Barack Obama next week will visit a federal prison in Oklahoma as part of a Vice special on the criminal justice system, the White House announced Friday. Obama will become the first sitting president to visit a federal prison.
Accompanied by Vice president and host of the special Shane Smith, Obama will tour El Reno federal prison and meet with inmates, prison staff and law enforcement officers. The interviews in the medium-security prison facility will be featured in an HBO documentary that will examine the impact of the current criminal justice systems on prisoners, families and the judicial system.
“There’s an emerging consensus in this country — on both the right and the left — that the way we treat criminal offenders is utterly broken and weakening our society in profound ways,” Smith, who is also the host of VICE’s Emmy award-winning documentary series on HBO, said in a statement.