- The Washington Times - Friday, July 10, 2015

President Obama is going to prison next week.

Mr. Obama will become the first president to visit a federal prison when he travels Thursday to the El Reno federal prison in Oklahoma, the White House said Friday.
The president will visit the medium-security prison near Oklahoma City to talk about criminal justice reform, said White House press secretary Josh Earnest.

While there, he’s expected to commute the sentences of dozens of federal inmates who are in jail on drug charges.

The prison visit will come just two days after Mr. Obama travels to Philadelphia, where he’ll address the NAACP’s annual conference on the need for criminal justice reform and outline “the unfairness” of the system, Mr. Earnest said.

The president’s visit will be recorded for an HBO documentary to be aired later this year, according to VICE Media. Mr. Obama and VICE founder Shane Smith, host of the special, will tour the facility and meet with prisoners, prison staff, and law enforcement officials, the company said.

El Reno houses about 1,300 inmates.

The interviews will be “part of a broader HBO documentary looking at the pervasive impacts of America’s approach to crime and imprisonment, chronicling the many interlocking pieces of the sprawling system, from prisoners and their families to the judiciary and community reformers,” VICE Media said.

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