Once again, Kim Kardashian has proven to be the ultimate influencer. And no, this time we are not referring to the global rise of the middle part, but the First Step Act. It’s okay if you don’t know what that is because you’ve been bingeing The Princess Switch and Dumplin’. We’re here to fill you in.
Yesterday the Senate voted 87-12 to pass the bill which will be the biggest criminal justice reform our country has seen since JNCO jeans were in fashion. The First Step Act does a few things. First, it allows people who were put in jail before Congress reduced the the disparity between powder and crack cocaine sentences to also benefit from that bill, which could affect up to 2,600 federal inmates. It also lessens mandatory minimums and the three strike rule used against drug offenders that often adds decades onto sentences.
The act will also ban the practice of women being shackled during childbirth, which is so insanely cruel it’s hard to believe it was ever a thing at all. And it will introduce a number of rehabilitative programs to aid former inmates to re-acclimate back into society. Unfortunately the act only applies to federal inmates, which makes up only a small fraction of the U.S.’ 2.1 million person prison population but like the act says, it’s a first step. So what are the next steps? Paul Ryan has signaled the House will move to pass the bill ASAP, at which point it will go to President Trump’s desk. Normally that would be the place where all good things go to die, but the president has been suspiciously on board with the legislation since the fall.
And who do we have to thank for Trump being suspiciously onboard?
So, mainly Jared Kushner, who has taken on criminal justice reform as one of his 12403726 jobs in the White House, but also…Kim Kardashian!!! As we all remember, Kim bravely took some time off from preparing for the Met Gala to help free Alice Marie Johnson, a woman serving life in prison for a nonviolent drug crime. Kim visited the White House earlier this year to talk with Trump about criminal justice reform, which resulted in clemency for Johnson and at least one cursed image:
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Ever since that blessed day, Kim K has teamed up with others like Kushner and Van Jones to keep the kriminal justice reform train rolling. Obviously many other non-Kardashians worked on this issue for a long, long time in obscurity before Kim decided to use her platform to elevate it, but those people aren’t on a reality show so….
Well said, Van Jones. Well said.
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