Kim Kardashian is in the news again, but this time it’s not because of her famous family or her famous caboose. Instead, Kim has reached out for a benevolent cause. Kardashian has officially offered further assistance to the former inmate, Matthew Charles. Charles was at the center of prison reform talks after his lengthy prison term for a non-violent drug offense highlighted issues in the justice system.
Why was Matthew Charles in prison?
Matthew Charles, now 52, was remanded to prison in 1996 on a slew of drug offenses. While he was convicted of non-violent drug crimes, Charles had a lengthy rap sheet of arrests, mostly stemming from drug and weapons charges. Because of his status as a “career” criminal, Charles received a hefty 35-year sentence.
According to NBC News, Charles was granted an early release in 2016, thanks to his behavior behind bars, but prosecutors were having none of it. Charles was sent back to prison when an appeals court overturned his early release, arguing that his long rap sheet made him ineligible for early release, regardless of his status as a model inmate.
Kim Kardashian and her camp took on Charles’ case as they jockeyed for prison reform in front of President Donald Trump. Now out of prison once again, Charles is looking to make good on his promise to turn his life around.
Kim Kardashian’s generous offer
Kardashian, after reading another story on Charles’ plight stepped forward to offer the former inmate a huge gift. She contacted Charles’ camp after finding out the ex-inmate was denied an apartment due to his felony conviction and low credit score. Kardashian offered to pay Charles’ rent for five years and to act as a personal reference.
Kardashian has not commented on the situation, but Charles’ took to his social media page to announce Kardashian’s generous offer, according to The Daily News. Charles noted that Kardashian was not interested in media attention for her kind act, but he could not let the proposal go by without personally thanking the reality TV star.
Charles’ housing rejection highlights a serious problem for former prisoners
Most inmates are not as lucky as Matthew Charles. Charles’ housing issue highlights the problem that many ex-cons face when they reintegrate into society. A felony designation may make a person ineligible for some types of housing, but the more prominent issue inmates face is meeting income and credit requirements.
According to The Mortgage Reports, an individual usually needs a credit score of at least 600 to rent a property. While not all landlords run credit checks on potential applicants, apartment buildings are more likely to run credit and background checks, as they are generally run by management companies. Properties situated in larger cities are also more likely to utilize credit checks to ensure tenants are a good fit for a property.
Inmates like Charles who have spent the bulk of their adult life in prison simply have not had the chance to build a credit history. Those who have had legal trouble are also more likely to have defaulted on previous credit obligations, leading to an abysmally low score. Locked out of many housing developments, it’s difficult for former inmates to reinvent themselves and integrate into mainstream society.