Kim Kardashian is using her massive celebrity appeal to shine a light on criminal justice reform.
The reality television star teased an upcoming documentary on the cable channel Oxygen titled Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project.
Debuting on April 5, the two-hour film will show Kardashian visiting prisons and working alongside legal experts on four cases of people they believe have been unfairly sentenced.
‘There is a mass incarceration problem in the United States,’ the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star says in the trailer she uploaded to her social media page.
The trailer shows Kardashian receiving letters from inmates and talking to other prisoners who shared their stories.
Kim Kardashian posted the trailer for her upcoming two-hour documentary which will air on April 5 on the cable channel Oxygen
In the trailer, Kardashian is shown talking with people who are incarcerated and who seek to have their sentences reduced
Kardashian advocated for the release of Alice Marie Johnson (right), a Tennessee woman who was sentenced to life in prison for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense
Kardashian successfully lobbied President Trump to commute her sentence. Trump and Johnson are seen at the White House in April 2019
‘People deserve a second chance,’ she says in one clip.
Kardashian is best known for developing beauty and fashion products and chronicling her life with her sisters on TV’s Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
She became interested in criminal justice reform after helping to win the release two women from prison.
At a discussion about her new documentary, Kardashian was asked how she would respond to people who may think she had attached herself to the cause in order to burnish her well-known brand.
‘I’m very used to criticism, so nothing really fazes me,’ West said at the event organized by the Television Critics Association.
‘I really genuinely just stay focused on the cases and the people,’ she added.
‘I’m not doing it for publicity. I really do care.’
The 39-year-old wife of rapper Kanye West said she works daily on her law studies for a total of 20 hours per week and just completed her first year of a four-year apprenticeship program in California.
She is aiming to take the bar exam in 2022.
The documentary shows Kardashian taking a specific interest in four cases
The film tells the story of Johnson, who received a harsh sentence for a nonviolent drug offense
Kardashian has recently taken up the cause of criminal justice reform
She has lent her name and fame to drawing attention to people sentenced to long prison terms
Her late father, Robert Kardashian, was a prominent Los Angeles lawyer who was part of the legal team that represented football star O.J. Simpson in his 1995 trial and acquittal for double murder.
Vince DiPersio, an executive producer of The Justice Project, said West was taking on a “fair amount of risk” by advocating for the release of prisoners.
‘She is a nationally known figure and she has a big brand. God forbid someone gets out and does something terrible, but Kim is willing to take that risk,’ he said.
In 2018, West successfully lobbied President Donald Trump to commute the life sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old Tennessee woman convicted of a first drug offense.
In early 2019, she helped win clemency for another Tennessee woman, Cynthia Brown.
Brown, 30, was convicted as a teenager of murdering a man who paid to have sex with her.
Brown received a life sentence with the possibility of parole after serving a minimum of 51 years in prison.
Last year, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam commuted her life sentence after Kardashian and other celebrities took up her cause.
Some of the people featured in the documentary were brought to Kardashian’s attention by letters sent directly to her.
She said she works on some of the cases herself and sends others to attorneys she believes can help.
Kardashian said she hopes the documentary will convince viewers that there are people who deserve a second chance even if they were involved in a violent crime.
‘You really have no idea what was on the other end and what led them to those decisions,’ she said.
‘I hope people can be more empathetic.’
Kardashian cut a chic look Saturday as she took the stage for an Oxygen panel at the Winter TCA Tour Day in Pasadena.
Chic display: Kim Kardashian cut a chic look Saturday as she took the stage for an Oxygen panel at the Winter TCA Tour Day in Pasadena
The 39-year-old donned a shimmering bronze ribbed turtleneck, which she paired with a black leather skirt.
She completed the chic ensemble with a pair of skintight black six-inch stiletto boots.
Shimmering bronze: The 39-year-old donned a shimmering bronze ribbed turtleneck, which she paired with a black leather skirt
Hell on heels: She completed the chic ensemble with a pair of skintight black six-inch stiletto boots
New project: She was promoting her documentary Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project, which premieres April 5 on Oxygen
She added: ‘But the cases I showcase in this documentary showcase the broken aspect of our system.
‘I hope that people can be more empathetic and feel that by giving people, like those featured in The Justice Project, a second chance, there is no danger to our society.’
The Skims mogul also addressed her critics who say she’s doing this work to get publicity.
She said: ‘It can be exhausting, frustrating, but I know that we can make a difference, and so all the criticism in the world will not deter me from what I want to do.
‘I’m very used to criticism so nothing really fazes me. I’m one of those not-human souls that can really deal with it. However, I really genuinely just stay focused on cases and people and am extremely compassionate.’
Serving justice: It follows her efforts to exonerate several wrongly convicted felons while working toward becoming a lawyer
It’s personal: She said of the four cases in the documentary, which shine a light on the injustices she’s fighting: ‘Every case that I choose is really personal to me and a lot of the time it’s from a letter I receive from someone on the inside that just really touches my heart’
Not for publicity: She also had something to say to her critics: ‘No, I’m not doing it for publicity. I really do and care and spend 20 hours a week away from my family and my kids [for this]’
She added: ‘No, I’m not doing it for publicity. I really do and care and spend 20 hours a week away from my family and my kids [for this].’
Kardashian also explained how motherhood inspired her new career path: ‘I’m raising four black children that could face a situation like any of the people that I help.
‘Just to know I can make a difference in my children’s lives and (others) by helping fix a broken system, that’s so motivating for me.’
Making a difference: In 2018, Kardashian successfully petitioned Donald Trump to commute the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, who was serving a life sentence for a nonviolent first-time offense