Watch the Moment Barack Obama Became the First Sitting President to Visit a Federal Prison

The historic special is aimed at highlighting America's grave need for widespread prison reform.

Not Available Lead
Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

Not Available Lead

"This is the first time this has ever happened," President Barack Obama tells a group of federal prisoners in a new clip from VICE's forthcoming HBO specialFixing the System. The profound weight of history being made is impossible to ignore, with Obama's visit to the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in Oklahoma marking the first time a sitting U.S. president has ever visited a federal prison

In the latest teaser, Obama graciously introduces himself to a group of prisoners before taking a seat ahead of a surely revelatory conversation. Though the special doesn't premiere until this Sunday, a series of teasers has painted a clear portrait of a potentially groundbreaking moment for national prison reform. "When [prisoners] describe their youth and their childhood," Obama told the Associated Press during his visit, "these are young people who made mistakes that aren't that different than the mistakes I made."

As previously reported, current statistics do little to alleviate concerns of an increasingly overcrowded prison system for decades to come. The United States presently accounts for a staggering 25 percent of the world's prison population, a figure that's depressingly disproportionate to the country's five percent stake in the world's total population.

Latest in Pop Culture