Kim Kardashian’s victories while championing prison reform over the last year have inspired thousands of inmates from around the country to reach out to her seeking help.
According to TMZ, both staffers and inmates in the prison system now refer to the reality star as “The Princess of Prison Reform,” after she successfully helped Alice Johnson, Mathew Charles, and most recently Cyntoia Brown, win clemency and eventual release. They are reportedly sending her letters “by the thousands” seeking her help in getting the same outcome.
It is unclear how many of these inmates are incarcerated for unjust reasons as were those Kardashian helped to free.
While many African Americans have called out the Kardashian clan, accusing them of appropriating Black culture, social justice advocates like CNN commentator Van Jones think it’s time we start giving the most famous Kardashian credit for directly helping to free people in our community.
“If Kim Kardashian had not gone to the White House and talked to Donald Trump, we would not have passed this bill,” Jones told TMZ last month, after the prison reform bill known as the First Step Act passed. This landmark triumph was the result of Kardashian teaming up with both Jones and Trump advisor Jared Kushner to make the president get on board.
“We would not have 50,000 people fewer in federal prisons because of this bill, 100 percent of people who are locked up in the federal prisons can come home a little bit earlier if they stay out of trouble, 50 percent of them can come home a lot earlier if they work hard, 100 percent of women are not going to be shackled and mistreated.”
“Why?” he added. “Because Kim K”
The Queen of Clemency?
Last year, first-time non-violent drug offender, Alice Johnson, who had served 21 years of a life sentence after being convicted on charges of conspiracy to possess cocaine and attempted possession of cocaine – was finally pardoned just a week after Kardashian pleaded her case with Donald Trump.
Just last week, Kardashian praised the president for signing a federal criminal justice reform bill that allowed the release of 52-year-old grandfather Mathew Charles, who initially served 21 years of a 35-year sentence but was later ordered on appeal to return to prison and complete his term.
“Just got word that Matthew Charles will be coming home within 24 hours,” West, 38, tweeted on Thursday afternoon. “Thank you @realDonaldTrump for signing the 1st step act. This is what true bipartisanship can accomplish.”
Just got word that Matthew Charles will be coming home within 24 hours. Thank you @realDonaldTrump for signing the 1st step act. This is what true bipartisanship can accomplish. https://t.co/9EnwDSksfw
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) January 3, 2019
Putting her money where her mouth is
Most recently added to Kardashian’s list of wins is the story of Cyntoia Brown, a young woman who was sentenced in 2004 but whose case went viral after Kardashian not only spoke up publicly about her story, but also paid a top notch legal team to assist her pleas for clemency.
“The system has failed,” Kardashian tweeted in November of 2017. “It’s heart breaking to see a young girl sex trafficked then when she has the courage to fight back is jailed for life! We have to do better & do what’s right. I’ve called my attorneys yesterday to see what can be done to fix this.”
The system has failed. It’s heart breaking to see a young girl sex trafficked then when she has the courage to fight back is jailed for life! We have to do better & do what’s right. I’ve called my attorneys yesterday to see what can be done to fix this. #FreeCyntoiaBrown pic.twitter.com/73y26mLp7u
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) November 21, 2017
Although Nashville-based lawyer Charles Bone, had been working on Brown’s case pro bono, Kardashian called in LA-based attorney, Shawn Holley, to assist in taking things to the next level. Holley, along with Kim’s father Robert Kardashian, was on the team of lawyers who helped O.J. Simpson win an acquittal in 1995.
“Kim asked me several weeks ago how she could help Alice Johnson in her fight for justice. We then began corresponding with Alice and her team of lawyers… Since then, Kim has championed the cause of Cyntoia Brown and asked me to help her get involved in that effort as well,” Holley once told the NY Daily News.
In the last year, Brown’s story has sparked public outcry and just this week, she was granted clemency in Tennessee after 15 years in prison.
“The team who’s been working on this and Cyntoia are very grateful for all of the support she has had,” said Bone following the announcement. “We were shocked that it became such an international opportunity for people to speak out on this issue.”
👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 Thank you Governor Haslam 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 https://t.co/rAiru84fgn
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) January 7, 2019