VICE’s highly-anticipated "Fixing The System," an hour-long special that documents President Barack Obama’s historic visit to Oklahoma’s El Reno Federal Corrections Institution, premiered Sunday night on HBO. The special featured VICE founder Shane Smith’s interview with Obama interespersed with clips of the president’s coversation with several non-violent offenders serving time at El Reno. It also included Smith’s profiles of other incarcerated individuals, ex-offenders and officials who are working to fight the systemic roots of mass incarceration.
The whole special, which you can see above, is worth watching in all of its stark and immersive detail—even if it is sometimes biased towards restorative fixes, like in-prison job training, instead of systemic ones. Obama’s conversation with offenders, touching on both the effects of the drug trade on their lives and the punitive system that has kept many federal inmates locked up for disproportionate amounts of time, is particularly worth watching. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) also appears to discuss the legislative measures he’s pushing in Congress.
The special is running, in full, on YouTube until October 12. Check out "Fixing The System" above.