President Obama to become first sitting president to visit federal prison next week

President Obama will become the first sitting president to visit a federal prison next week. His appearance in El Reno, Oklahoma will aid in his efforts to change the U.S. criminal justice system.

The visit will be for an upcoming VICE special, which will give a closer look into the criminal justice system as it stands now. President Obama will meet inmates and law enforcement officials while there.

“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,” VICE Founder Shane Smith said in a release.

“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.”

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest also talked about Obama’s visit to the medium-security federal facility on Friday, saying Tuesday’s visit will “underscore the administration’s focus on the need to reform and improve” the criminal justice system.

New York Times reports Obama’s plans to issue an executive order to pardon non-violent drug offenders is expected to be carried out next week.

Smith will host the VICE special, which will air this fall.

image via Kristin Callahan/ACE/

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