Kim Kardashian Says The First Step Act Inspired Her To Do More For Prison Reform
One of America's most well-known reality TV personalities visited the White House once again. On Thursday, Kim Kardashian West discussed the First Step Act at the White House as part of her activism for criminal justice reform in the United States. While speaking to the press, Kardashian West said the law inspired her to partner with a rideshare app that will help people find jobs after being released from prison.
In remarks on Thursday, Kardashian West announced the launch of a new ride-share program in partnership with Lyft. The program will provide gift cards to former prisoners in order to help them commute to job interviews, work, and meet their family members, USA Today reported.
While talking to the press, Kardashian West discussed how she was inspired by the First Step Act, as well as by studying law under the mentorship of her attorneys Erin Haney and Jessica Jackson from the criminal justice reform initiative #cut50. "I learned so much just, basically, working on memos and being the assistant to them while the First Step Act was happening, and like learning how you get bills passed, and working on it from the ground up," she said.
"To get the President’s support and to see [the First Step Act] come to fruition was magic," Kardashian West added. "And the one thing that I just realized that needed so much support, that I’m happy to help and be supportive where I can, was the reentry of people coming home and seeing the lack of support that really existed." In December 2018, Trump signed into the First Step Act into law.
The reality TV celebrity — who successfully urged Trump to grant clemency for Alice Marie Johnson in 2018 — also said she didn't know how to promote criminal justice reform at first. Kardashian West said she visited prisons where her "heart just completely opened up" and began studying law, Fox News reported.
Some officials in the White House have been working on criminal justice reform, including White House adviser and Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who promoted the First Step Act last year. The First Step Act is officially known as the The Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act.
The core idea behind the measure is to reduce recidivism — that is, the likelihood of a convicted criminal to commit crime again. This would be done by providing formerly incarcerated individuals a second chance at life with stable jobs. In fact, the official text for the measure simply calls for "programs to help reduce the risk that prisoners will recidivate upon release from prison."
After Kardashian West delivered her remarks, Trump praised her statements and thanked her for joining everyone at the White House. Signaling support for the First Step Act, Trump laid down what his administration's plans were for former prisoners in the United States.
"My administration has set an ambitious goal," the president declared. "We want to cut the unemployment rate for these individuals to single digits within five years."
"And we think," Trump added, "there’s a really good chance of doing it."