Since helping to secure clemency for non-violent drug offender Alice Marie Johnson earlier this year, Kim Kardashian has reportedly continued using her connections within the Trump family to advocate for prison reform at large, as well as for the specific release of another person facing life imprisonment over drug-related crimes. Kardashian paid another visit to the White House Wednesday morning for a meeting with President Trump and other administration officials to lobby for the release of Chris Young, who was sentenced to life in prison for possession of cocaine and marijuana at the age of 21 under the so-called “three strikes” law. Twenty-eight states have variations of “three strikes” legislation, which mandate sentences of 20 years to life for criminals convicted of three felonies. According to critics, and a number of studies, such laws do “not decrease serious crime or petty theft rates,” but instead drastically raise prison populations by subjecting people to life imprisonment for non-violent and petty crimes.
“It started with Ms. Alice, but looking at her and seeing the faces and learning the stories of the men and women I’ve met inside prisons I knew I couldn’t stop at just one. It’s time for REAL systemic change,” wrote Kardashian on Twitter on Wednesday, alongside pictures that were taken during one of the morning meetings at the White House.
It started with Ms. Alice, but looking at her and seeing the faces and learning the stories of the men and women I’ve met inside prisons I knew I couldn’t stop at just one. It’s time for REAL systemic change pic.twitter.com/kdKr8s6lJW
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) September 5, 2018
According to deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley, the meeting was “about the clemency process” and ways “to ensure deserving cases receive a fair review,” and was attended by Jared Kushner, Van Jones, and Judge Kevin Sharp — the judge who sentenced Young nearly a decade ago. Since resigning as a federal judge last year, Sharp has been outspoken about his disgust for the “three strikes law,” saying that he considered the legislation simultaneously cruel and ineffective
“If there was any way I could have not given him life in prison I would have done it,” he said of his sentencing of Young. “What they did was wrong, they deserved some time in prison, but not life.”