Reality star-turned-criminal justice reform advocate Kim Kardashian West, who is of Armenian descent, returned to the White House on Thursday, June 13 to help U.S. President Donald Trump promote efforts to help those leaving prison get jobs and stay on track, the Associated Press reports.
At an East Room event attended by Cabinet secretaries, activist and formerly incarcerated people, Kardashian West announced the creation of a new ride-sharing partnership that will give former prisoners gift cards to help them get to and from job interviews, work and family events.
“Everyone wants the community to be safe, and the more opportunity we have and that they have and the support that we help give them, the safer everyone will be,” said Kardashian West, who became involved with the issue after learning about the case of Alice Marie Johnson, a grandmother who was serving a life sentence without parole for drug offenses.
Kardashian West successfully lobbied Trump to grant Johnson clemency and has been studying law under the tutelage of attorneys Jessica Jackson and Erin Haney of the bipartisan criminal justice reform group #cut50 ever since.
Trump pronounced himself a fan of Kardashian West’s advocacy, praising her genes and declaring, “I guess she’s pretty popular.” And he marveled at the passage of the First Step Act, which he signed into law late last year.
The bill — a rare bipartisan victory in hyperpartisan Washington— included measures to reduce the sentences of thousands of prisoners and expand job training programs to decrease recidivism rates and relaxed the “three strikes” rule.
More than 1,000 federal inmates have had their sentences reduced thanks to the legislation, according to a recent report by the U.S. Sentencing Commission this month.