Holt Spends Two Nights Embedded Inside Angola, America’s Largest Maximum Security Prison, for Dateline NBC’s “Life Inside” Airing Friday, Sept. 6

Holt also Moderates the First-Ever Televised Town Hall Inside a Maximum Security Prison at Sing Sing; Featuring John Legend, Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Bryan Stevenson,Airing Sunday, Sept. 8 on MSNBC

 Dateline NBC’s “Life Inside” Airs Friday, Sept. 6 at 10pm ET on NBC

  • Lester Holt spends two nights locked up and embedded inside the largest maximum security prison in America, the notorious Louisiana State Penitentiary, also known as Angola, for a special one-hour Dateline NBC, “Life Inside.” The program airs Friday, Sept. 6 at 10pm ET/9pm CT as part of the network-wide “Justice for All” series.
  • Holt reports from inside prison walls on how incarcerated people live, the various issues of criminal justice reform and why it has landed at the top of the national agenda. He talks with many inmates, all with different backgrounds, on their journeys through the justice system and the impact on their families.
  • During the powerful hour, Holt follows three “Juvenile Lifers” facing parole and learns of their fate alongside them, including Henry Montgomery, whose 2016 Supreme Court case made it possible for juvenile lifers nationwide to apply for parole. Additionally, Holt sits down with Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and the broadcast also features an interview with a victim’s family.
  • Viewers also ride along with Holt as he works next to inmates on the former slave plantation, which is now home to the prison fields at Angola, visits rehabilitation programs and speaks with dying inmates in the prison hospice ward. He even sleeps in a cell behind bars to better understand what it’s like from the inside and speaks with correctional officers about the pressures they face.
  • Dan Slepian is the supervising producer who was embedded with Holt in Angola and is leading the “Justice for All” initiative with him.  Paul Ryan is the senior producer.


“Justice for All” Town Hall Airs Sunday, Sept. 8 at 10pm ET on MSNBC

  • In an unprecedented television event, Lester Holt moderates the first-ever televised town hall from a maximum security prison at New York’s Sing Sing Correctional Facility. It airs on MSNBC this Sunday, Sept. 8 at 10pm ET. The one-hour town hall explores different topics of the criminal justice and prison reform debate following an encore of Dateline NBC’s “Life Inside” at 9pm ET.
  • Directly from Sing Sing, John Legend, artist, activist and founder of FREEAMERICA, Loretta Lynch, former U.S. Attorney General, and Bryan Stevenson, civil rights attorney and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, among other experts and advocates, join the conversation about the impact of mass incarceration, the challenges regarding re-entry and the power of rehabilitation. The United States has locked up more people than anywhere in the world. 
  • The audience also includes 25 current inmates from Sing Sing, the formerly incarcerated, including Matthew Charles who was the first to be released under the First Step Act, policy makers, as well as crime victims. Additionally, viewers will hear from rapper Meek Mill, who Holt has interviewed multiple times, about his experiences through the justice system and how he’s trying to make an impact.
  • Among the many powerful moments, Holt asks Lawrence Bartley, who was recently released from Sing Sing after being incarcerated for 27 years, to speak directly to the incarcerated men in the audience about what life is like on the outside.


About “Justice for All”

  • Justice for All,” which began as an NBC Nightly News series, is now a network-wide initiative, following the years of work that Holt and Dateline producer Dan Slepian have been doing on criminal justice reform. Holt’s deep interest in the justice system dates back to his years as a young reporter covering the police beat. In the past few years, he has reported on several high-profile justice-related stories, among them: the first interview with Meek Mill following his release from prison last year, an exclusive interview with Matthew Charles, the first person released under the First Step Act, and several stories on the wrongfully convicted.


NBC News contact: 

Dana Klinghoffer



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