The Rikers Island jail facility is New York City’s most infamous prison. It’s been plagued for years by accusations of inmate abuse and neglect and has been referred to in the media as one of the most dangerous places to work. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is planning to shut Rikers down.
On Full Frontal, Samantha Bee visited the prison to find out about special programs they offer to inmates, such as horticulture, art therapy, acting classes, and even debate. Bee sat down with Jim Walsh, deputy commissioner of adult programming, to ask him some questions. “I can tell you that many of the men and women from the debate class go back to their housing unit and practice,” Walsh said, prompting Bee to conclude that being in the debate club there is considered cool.
Bee got to see one of the debates in action, which was on the topic of whether or not Donald Trump’s immigration ban on Muslim countries is unjust. A topic like this was right up the politically charged host’s alley, and she looked on thoughtfully as both debaters came out swinging, although this time the prison fight was verbal, not physical.
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee airs Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m. on TBS.
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