In this VICE special we see then President of the United States, Barack Obama, make history as he becomes the first President to ever visit a federal prison. The visit itself occurred back in July 2015, and alongside Obama we see award-winning journalist and founder of VICE Shane Smith, as they both set out to investigate America’s broken criminal justice system.
America is notoriously known for having only 5 percent of the worlds population but 25 percent of the worlds prison population. This is a shocking statistic, but where did it all go wrong? It was about 50 years ago when we saw the United States begin to take a tougher stance on non-violent drug offences, mandatory minimum sentences were introduced which seemed to disproportionately target black and Hispanic communities.
In Fixing The System we hear directly from prisoners and family members who have been affected by these laws, and witness how easily people received life sentences for non-violent crimes. President Obama speaks directly with some of these very inmates and learns how the current system has failed them, not only in terms of strict sentences but also quality of rehabilitation.