President Obama is going to federal prison in Oklahoma next week — to visit the facility and talk about reforming America’s criminal justice system.
Vice Media will be attending the event, featuring the president in an HBO special with CEO Shane Smith, marking the first sitting United States president to visit a federal prison.
The event will take place at the El Reno federal prison, which houses 1,300 inmates. According to a news release, Obama is expected to meet with prisoners, prison staff, and law enforcement officials.
“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 said in a statement. “Visiting El Reno with President Obama — the first-ever visit to a federal prison by a sitting president — will give our viewers a firsthand look into how the president is thinking about this problem, from the policy level down to one on one conversations with the men and women living this reality. It’s going to be fascinating.”
Smith, who has hired former Obama “body man” Reggie Love and former Obama Deputy Chief of Staff Alyssa Mastromonaco has enjoyed an unprecedented level of media access from the White House.