Kim Kardashian might be most famous for her reality television and her oft-publicized relationship with rapper Kanye West, but the 37-year-old mogul is currently trying to make a name in a much more impactful endeavor—prison reform.
The Keeping Up With The Kardashians star has already facilitated the release of one former prisoner—63-year-old Alice Marie Johnson, who was serving a life sentence for cocaine trafficking. Now, it looks like Kardashian has another client on her hands with a similar story to Johnson’s—30-year-old Chris Young, who is currently serving life in prison for a non-violent drug arrest.
Kim Kardashian Trying to Get Another Inmate with Non-Violent Drug Offense Pardoned
Kardashian, who appeared on Jason Flom’s Wrongful Conviction podcast on Wednesday, told the host she’s currently working on getting Young out of prison. The 30-year-old was sentenced to life without parole for marijuana and cocaine possession back in 2010.
“Yesterday, I had a call with a gentleman that’s in prison for a drug case – got life,” she said. “It’s so unfair. He’s 30 years old. He’s been in for almost 10 years.”
Kardashian says the man has also had a slew of medical problems since entering prison. But despite his lingering health issues, he’s been forced to stay in a maximum-security prison while he’s not undergoing surgery. This, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t had a single run-in in prison since his initial arrest, raises some question marks about his current living conditions for a non-violent offense.
“When I was talking to Chris Young, who’s in prison [and] has sickle cell anemia… So, he’s had to have a few surgeries and he’s been in a medical facility for a few years, and he goes back into the maximum-security prison where lifers have to go. And he’s had a perfect record…. He was saying, ‘I can stay out of trouble in here, but going in there there’s stabbings, there’s this. And if you’re near that you can get in trouble so easily,'” Kardashian shares. “He just didn’t want to get caught up in a situation that had nothing to do with him, but could very much have.”
Surprisingly enough, Kardashian has sought out help from an unlikely ally—the judge that handed Young his life term.
According to Kardashian, former Tennessee Judge Kevin Sharp was forced by federal prosecutors to hand out the sentence, despite his own misgivings about the harshness of the term. In fact, the entire ordeal caused Sharp to step down from his position.
“I was on the phone with the judge that sentenced him to life,” Kardashian said. ” [He] resigned because he had never been on the side of having to do something so unfair, and now he is fighting with us to get [Young] out.”
Young, who was charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine, amongst others, had two prior drug dealing convictions before his 2010 arrest. This triggered a federally-mandated “three strikes” law, which calls for a mandatory life sentence if a person is found guilty a third time.
Despite his mistakes as a misguided youth, Kardashian still believes Young’s punishment hardly fits the crime.
“It’s scary when you have a minor drug charge but then you get life and you’re stuck in this crazy maximum-security prison with murderers and people [like that],” Kardashian said. “It’s a completely different environment than the environment that he’s so used to.”