President Barack Obama will visit El Reno prison in Oklahoma next week as part of the administration’s push for criminal justice reform, making him the first ever sitting President to visit a federal prison.
Obama will tour the facility with VICE founder Shane Smith, meeting officers, inmates and staff while filming a VICE special, which will air this fall on HBO. El Reno is a medium-security facility which houses about 1,300 male inmates, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
The announcement comes days after news that Obama plans to commute the sentences of more than 80 federal prisoners convicted for nonviolent drug offenses in coming weeks. It would be the most sweeping use of a President’s clemency powers at one time in nearly 50 years.
“Next week the President will underscore the administration’s focus on the need to reform and improve America’s criminal justice system,” White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said during a news briefing on Friday.
Smith said in a release the visit will give viewers a “firsthand look into how the president is thinking about this problem.”
The interview is a big get for VICE, whose valuation was estimated at $2.2 billion last year. The company set up shop in Washington in 2014, with Smith vowed vowing to “shake some cages and go crazy and create some enemies” with the company’s political coverage. Smith also nabbed a sit-down interview with the President earlier this year.