Kim Kardashian Believes Prison Reform Is a “Humanizing” Apolitical Issue
Kim Kardashian West rose to fame in 2007 as a star on her family’s reality show, Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Over the years, she has also made a name for herself as a businesswoman with her makeup brand, KKW Beauty, as well as her shapewear line, SKIMS.
However, fans of Kardashian West are probably also aware that she has another focus in her life these days: prison reform. Kardashian West has been working on helping to change the prison system in the United States.
This can be a rather polarizing issue in politics, but Kardashian West believes that it should not be so controversial. In fact, she has shared that prison reform should be a topic that anyone can get behind.
Kim Kardashian started working in prison reform in 2017
Kardashian West’s foray into prison reform began in the fall of 2017. She recalled that she was on Twitter one night when she came across the story of Alice Marie Johnson, a grandmother who was in prison for nonviolent drug charges. Kardashian West felt a desire to help Johnson, so she began working with a legal team to help get Johnson’s sentence some clemency.
In May 2018, Kardashian West met with President Donald Trump to urge him to help Johnson. A month later, Trump officially commuted Johnson and she was released from prison. A few months after, Kardashian West also worked with Trump to pass the First Step Act, which would help other nonviolent criminals receive leniency.
Kim Kardashian is studying law to further contribute to prison reform
Although Kardashian West has been quite successful as a celebrity advocate for prison reform, the 39-year-old has revealed that she would actually like to do more than just bring attention to people’s stories. In 2019, the reality star and entrepreneur announced that she had decided to study law in hopes of passing the bar exam in a few years.
“I’m sitting in the Roosevelt Room with, like, a judge who had sentenced criminals and a lot of really powerful people and I just sat there, like, Oh, sh*t. I need to know more,” she explained. “I just felt like the system could be so different, and I wanted to fight to fix it, and if I knew more, I could do more.”
Since then, Kardashian West has been balancing her business career, reality TV appearances, and family life with her law studies. She started an apprenticeship at a law firm and is focusing seriously on learning important concepts for the bar exam.
Kardashian West is very serious about having a law career that she even said she would like to give up fame in the future to become an attorney.
Kim Kardashian thinks prison reform should be about ‘humanizing’ people
While a lot of Americans look at prison reform as a series of statistics and number, Kardashian West believes that it should be about bringing awareness to the fact that the folks behind bars are still human beings.
Speaking about Alice Marie Johnson, Kardashian told Time: “I think when people saw Alice’s face and heard her speak, they felt safe, feeling [of her release] that, ‘Oh, this is going to be OK. Our society is going to be safe; she deserves a second chance.’ I don’t look at prison reform as very political… The key is humanizing these [people] and taking on these individual stories, to let everyone know that people on the inside are just like us.”
However, Kardashian made it clear that she still believes that prison is a fair punishment for certain crimes.
“I really do believe that, if people do a crime, they need to do the time,” she said. “But it’s a matter of, what is that fair [amount of] time?”