Kim Kardashian West is tackling America’s mass incarceration problem in the new documentary Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project.
The two-hour special, which airs in America on Oxygen on 5th April, highlights Kardashian West’s efforts to secure freedom for individuals she believes have been wronged by the criminal justice system. The cases include those of Dawn Jackson, Alexis Martin, Momolu Stewart, and David Sheppard. The teaser shows Kardashian West talking with legal experts, public officials, and family and friends of the incarcerated, in addition to the incarcerated individuals themselves.
“I went into this knowing nothing and my then my heart completely opened up,” Kardashian West says in the teaser released on Saturday.
Kardashian West’s advocacy for criminal justice reform began after hearing the story of Alice Marie Johnson, a great-grandmother serving a life sentence as a first-time nonviolent offender. She took Johnson’s case all the way to the White House, and in 2018 Johnson was granted clemency by President Donald Trump.
This motivated Kardashian West to pursue a second career in law. She’s currently studying to become a lawyer via a non-traditional route. Instead of going to law school, which California doesn’t require to practice law, Kardashian West is doing a four-year apprenticeship under the guidance of lawyer Jessica Jackson, co-founder of #cut50, a national prison reform initiative under CNN’s Van Jones’ Dream Corps organization. Kardashian West plans to take the bar exam in 2022.
Kardashian West was also one of many celebrities lobbying for the release of Cyntoia Brown, a sex trafficking survivor who was granted clemency in 2019, after having served 15 years in prison.
The backlash for Kardashian West seeking the help of Trump in Johnson’s case was swift, something the mogul and reality star couldn’t have cared less about, she explained in 2018 at Variety and Rolling Stone’s Criminal Justice Reform Summit.
“For me, if it’s a life versus my reputation. People talk shit about me all day long, I didn’t really care,” she said. “From meeting all of the people that I have met behind bars, I guarantee you, they don’t care who signs that clemency paper.”