Kim Kardashian successfully frees 17 inmates under the First Step Act


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The 38 year old Keeping Up With Kardashians star, Kim, has been advocating for criminal justice reform issues for quiet some time. She is working to free inmates serving life sentences without parole on nonviolent offences and helping them build a new life.

Kim Kardashian’s interest in criminal reforms started with her pursuit to free Alice Marie Johnson. Alice was serving a life sentence without parole in the Aliceville Correctional Facility in Alabama. She was sentenced for life in 1997 on charges of money laundering and drug offences. This was her first encounter with the law and Kim believed that she deserved another chance at life. The 38-year-old activist met President Donald Trump for the first time with reference to this case. She and her lawyer, Shawn Holley, were already working with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner when she met the president to talk about Alice’s freedom.

Kim visited the White House again in September, along with Jones, to help devise the First Step Act. On 19 December 2018, the bill was passed by the Senate and on 21 December, Trump signed the bill into law in the Oval office.

The law will be a major boost for the prisoners by easing up sentences for drug related charges and speeding up the release of more than 2600 federal prisoners. It will also improve the way women are treated and help inmates earn credits towards an early release. It bars teenagers from being held in solitary in federal facilities and ends the practice of manacling pregnant women.

So far, 17 prisoners have been released under the First Step Act. The first release, Matthew Charles, reported, while praising Kim for her efforts, that she not only secured his release but also covered 5 years rent so he can focus on getting settled without much hassle. Her efforts also helped in the release of Jamelle Carraway. He was imprisoned for possession of cocaine when he was 31 years old and was reunited with his family after serving 11 years in a federal prison. Kim’s successes also include, Eric Balcom – convicted on a drug charge when he was 29 and sentenced to life without parole, and Terrence Byrd who spent 25 years on drug possession charges.

The criminal justice activist recently returned to the White House on 13 June to promote efforts to help the ex-prisoners. She talked about programs to help the former prisoners get back on their feet and become a part of the workforce again. She particularly announced a new a program with Lyft – a ride sharing application that’ll issue former prisoners gift cards to help them get to work and visit their family.

The reality TV star was introduced by the President as one his good friends and called on the stage to talk about her initiative. In his support for the noble cause, he said, “We must make sure the Americans returning from prison get a true second chance. When former inmates come home, the single most important thing we can do is help them get a job.” He concluded his address, saying “When we say, ‘Hire Americans’, we mean all Americans”.

While on the way to the White House, Kim tweeted a video of herself with the caption, “Second Chance Hiring & Re-entry event at the White House today”. She also tweeted, “Today, I’m honored to be a part of the announcement that the administration and the private sector are stepping up to create opportunities for these men and women to succeed once home”.

 

According to Jones, Kim put her reputation on the line for people she didn’t even know, and she deserves respect for her noble efforts. The soon-to-be lawyer is also known to fund these campaigns from her own pocket.

 


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