Over the last few months, Kim Kardashian has been making a concerted effort to change her position in life.
But while she may always be seen as the epitome of a certain type of modern day celebrity on the surface, behind the scenes it seems Kim K has been working hard for a good cause.
Since meeting with Donald Trump last year, Kim has spoken about how she needs to know more and do more when it comes to things she is passionate about. She has also announced that she is training to be a lawyer, following in the footsteps of her attorney father, while succeeding in her mission to free imprisoned 62-year-old Marie Johnson.
It’s now been revealed that, along with Marie Johnson, Kim Kardashian and her legal team have freed 17 inmates in around three months.
The movement has been part of a campaign called 90 Days of Freedom, which was launched by Kim’s lawyer, Brittany K. Barnett, in partnership with lawyer MiAngel Cody from The Decarceration Collective.
Kim has been funding the project, according to TMZ, helping free prisoners that were given life-sentences without parole for ‘low-level drug offences’. The campaign is working for prisoners as part of the First Step Act, which was signed by Trump last year, to help prisoners who were handed excessive sentences.
The 38-year-old has reportedly been funding the project over the last few months, while Barnett – who also established the Buried Alive advocacy group – and Cody handle the legal side of things, as Kim is still in training.
So far, we’ve heard about the successful campaigns for the release of Alice Marie Johnson in Alabama, Jeffery Stringer in Florida and Cyntonia Brown in Tennessee. But now more names of inmates helped by the 90 Days of Freedom campaign have been revealed.
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Last year I registered with the California State Bar to study law. For the next 4 years, a minimum of 18 hours a week is required, I will take written and multiple choice tests monthly. As my first year is almost coming to an end I am preparing for the baby bar, a mini version of the bar, which is required when studying law this way. I’ve seen some comments from people who are saying it’s my privilege or my money that got me here, but that’s not the case. One person actually said I should “stay in my lane.” I want people to understand that there is nothing that should limit your pursuit of your dreams, and the accomplishment of new goals. You can create your own lanes, just as I am. The state bar doesn’t care who you are. This option is available to anyone who’s state allows it. It’s true I did not finish college. You need 60 college credits (I had 75) to take part in “reading the law”, which is an in office law school being apprenticed by lawyers. For anyone assuming this is the easy way out, it’s not. My weekends are spent away from my kids while I read and study. I work all day, put my kids to bed and spend my nights studying. There are times I feel overwhelmed and when I feel like I can’t do it but I get the pep talks I need from the people around me supporting me. I changed my number last year and disconnected from everyone because I have made this strict commitment to follow a dream of mine – It’s never too late to follow your dreams. I want to thank Van Jones for believing in me and introducing me to Jessica Jackson. Jessica along with Erin Haney have taken on the role of my mentors and I am forever grateful to them both putting in so much time with me, believing in me and supporting me through this journey. This week I have a big torts essay due on negligence. Wish me luck ✨⚖️
For example, Jamelle Carraway is now out of prison after 11 years inside. Jamelle was 31 when he was arrested and handed a life sentence for cocaine possession.
Similarly, Eric Balcom was 29 when he was arrested on a drug charge. He was given a life sentence without parole, and had served 16 years before the campaign secured his release.
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A month ago, we had the unbelievable privilege of telling Eric that he would not be spending the rest of his life in prison. Together with @thedecarcerationcollective, we solidified immediate release for him –– and now, he's FREE, reunited with his family. . This work is hard, but the way his granddaughter is looking at him? It makes ALL of this worth it, 100x over. SHARE this great news and follow our 90 Days of Freedom Campaign as we bring home as many men and women as we can! There is NOTHING more urgent than freedom. . #womenwarriors #womenlawyers #90daysoffreedom #firststepact
Terrence Byrd has also been released after spending 25 years – half his life – in federal prison without parole, also on drug possession charges.
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Terrence Byrd lives for the feeling of sun on his skin. It's been 25 long years since he last enjoyed that feeling as a free man – and as of this week, it is now a familiar feeling once again, but certainly never taken for granted. . Terrence served 25 years – half his life – of a life without parole sentence, but last week we solidified IMMEDIATE RELEASE for him. We are elated he is reunited with his beautiful family. His smile in this photo is pure GOLD. . We and @thedecarcerationcollective are truly honored to do this life-saving work. SHARE this great news and continue to follow along with our #90DaysOfFreedom campaign. . #womenwarriors #womenlawyers #firststepact
The campaign isn’t over either, as Kim, Brittany and MiAngel have said they’re still working on several more cases.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.