Fixing the System
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Fixing the System

2015, Politics  -   6 Comments
Ratings: 7.63/10 from 43 users.

El Reno Federal Prison, located in the heart of Oklahoma, is the last place you'd expect to find the President of the United States. But in July of 2015, Barack Obama made history by becoming the first sitting president ever to visit a federal prison. He was accompanied by the award-winning investigative filmmakers behind VICE News. Their feature documentary titled Fixing the System chronicles this landmark event while examining the larger landscape of an unjust and badly broken prison system.

America's commitment to mass incarceration began nearly 50 years ago, and was bolstered by tougher penalties for non-violent drug offenses. Excessive mandatory minimum sentences were imposed, which most profoundly affect black and Hispanic communities. The film contends that these laws constitute a modern form of industrialized racism, and that most of these offenders are serving far harsher sentences than their crimes warrant.

Statistically, with an inmate population that continues to rise well over 2 million, the U.S. prison system incarcerates far more of its citizens than any other country. As a result, prisons are badly overcrowded, minority communities are crumbling, and the potential of entire generations is being squandered.

The film profiles a group of inmates who understand these realities all too well. Some turned to using drugs as a means of escape. Others began selling them on the street because of a lack of legitimate economic opportunity. In each instance, these prisoners are enduring punishments that far outweigh their offenses. Even after they are released, the stigma of their past discretions will likely force them back to the confines of a prison cell.

President Obama is shown in conversation with these inmates, and their dialogue illuminates shameful truths about America's legal system. These insights are further echoed by additional interview subjects, including a high profile federal judge, a brave law enforcement whistleblower, and former Attorney General Eric Holder.

Fixing the System dissects this multi-faceted issue from all sides, including the damaging war on drugs, police discrimination and brutality, the lack of rehabilitative services, and the failure of Washington to enact reform in spite of widespread bipartisan support. Meanwhile, as the politicians bicker and bargain in the halls of power, the filmmakers never lose sight of the lives that hang in the balance.

Directed by: Shane Smith

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5 years ago

Not one of these individuals said they were innocent. They sure the hell are sentenced unfairly. What is racist about that? It's that you make it about you, instead of wanting to help an unjust system. Believe it or not, we are all equal. I have never seen the special powers you think you have, that any other race can't do. It doesn't exist. This is about changing a screwed up system.

5 years ago

This cop is a Liberal racist cunt

6 years ago

He should have stayed there.

6 years ago

Anti-white campaign? Typical comment from that reflects the nature of a country that will never care about the descendants of those they enslaved and subjected to a systemic abuse.

S. Jenika
6 years ago

The private prison owners put in millions and millions of dollars and constant propaganda that put fear into people - mostly white voters - to get through the draconian and senseless mandatory minimums, three strikes and you get life in prison so they can build more prisons and make millions. They skimp on meals, deny privileges, visits to families. There is NO rehabilitation - only punishment and demoralization. Obama talks and that is all.

6 years ago

It's dem white Rasys people's fault.
All prisons are filled with Innocent people.
I'm trying to figure out which one is the bigger evil here. An agenda based and clearly anti-white campaign, led by a terrible and failed president with a string of failed policies. Or that this president is accompanied by the zionist propaganda team. Poor inmates, they are the victim here, put in prison by the terrible white people who hate crime.
Next they will be implementing policies of releasing prisoners en mass to bolster the voting support, while allowing inmates to vote. That worked great in countries like South Africa, it really boosted the governments voter base. While releasing the criminals have done wonders for the crime rates. It has shot up to one of the highest in the world. Really impressive. The rape capital of the world. Some achievement. Or was South Africa just the experimental lab, a trial run for distributing fear and consequently more control over people by the government? Using the same tactic in Europe and America, except the tool used is terrorists instead of criminals (though that is pretty much the same thing).
If the hypocrites at Vice really want to do a documentary, instead of pushing the anti-white campaign why do they not cover racism in Israel, or the Israel wall, or why Israel got to keep South Africa's Nuclear weapons, or why Israel has taken in no refugees. #OpenBordersForApartheidIsrael