In the last three months, Kim Kardashian West has helped free 17 inmates. These federal first-time nonviolent drug offenders were originally sentenced to life in prison for low-level drug crimes, without parole.
The Keeping Up with the Kardashians reality show star partnered with the 90 Days of Freedom campaign. The campaign, started by her lawyer Brittany K. Barnett alongside MiAngel Cody of The Decarceration Collective, helped to put the First Step Act into action.
US president Donald Trump signed the First Step Act last year. The reality star had petitioned the President and visited him at the White House in May 2018 to discuss the case of Alice Marie Johnson. She was a 63-year-old one-time non-violent drug offender serving a life sentence. Following the meeting, they granted her clemency.
Great meeting with @KimKardashian today, talked about prison reform and sentencing. pic.twitter.com/uOy4UJ41JF
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2018
The purpose of the First Step Act is to allow some people imprisoned on federal drug offences to seek sentence reductions. This is especially for those who exhibit good behaviour. Major people targeted are those serving life terms.
CNN reports that while she has been making progress, Kim Kardashian West hasn’t been tweeting much about the success stories. Her lawyer explained that: “(Kim) has been on the phone as we’ve told clients they are coming home,” Barnett said. “I think one, she really wants to be taken seriously, so she is really focused on learning the system and the people who are directly impacted. That takes a lot of focus, too. It’s not always amplified with social media.”
Rather, she’s quietly helped fund the 90 Days of Freedom Campaign led by a “mighty team of women lawyers”.
She worked behind the scenes over the past three months.
“Kim has been funding this project and (has been) a very important supporter of our 90 Days of Freedom campaign as part of the First Step Act, which President Trump signed into law last year,” Cody said. “We’ve been going around the country in courtrooms and asking judges to release these inmates.”
Her lawyer, Barnett, also added that without Kim Kardashian West funding the project, it would not have been possible.
“(Kim) has provided financial support to cover legal fees so that we can travel the country. Our relationships with our clients don’t end when they are freed. (Kim) is truly dedicated to the issue. I work personally with her, We are really grateful.”
However, Cody explained that the legal fees are not all the E! star contributes.
“When people get out of prison, they might be incarcerated hundreds of miles from their families and they might need help getting home. Really important, critical things that people might not realise, and those are things Kim is helping with as well,” Cody added.
Last week, Kardashian West celebrated the release of a Miami man. She tweeted about how he had served over two decades imprisonment for a low-level drug case.
“We did it again! Had the best call w/this lovely family and my attorney @msbkb who just won release for their loved one Jeffrey in Miami,” she tweeted. “He served 22 years of a life sentence for a low-level drug case. He served too much time, but it gives me so much joy to fund this life-saving work.”
We did it again! Had the best call w/this lovely family & my attorney @msbkb who just won release for their loved one Jeffrey in Miami – he served 22 years of life sentence for low level drug case. He served too much time but it gives me so much joy to fund this life saving work. pic.twitter.com/pbYicKmFpJ
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) May 3, 2019
Following her success stories with the Johnson campaign, she announced her intention to take the bar exam in 2022. Her goal is to become a lawyer, and she began a four-year apprenticeship with a law firm in San Francisco.
“This wasn’t just a one-off thing,” Barnett said of Kim Kardashian West. “This is a real passion for her.”