Kim Kardashian is studying to become a lawyer and is focused on prison reform

By Aurelie Corinthios
May 08, 2019 03:21 PM

Ever since Kim Kardashian West successfully petitioned President Donald Trump last year to commute the life sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a nonviolent drug offender, the reality star has maintained a special relationship with the 63-year-old great-grandmother.

In a sneak peek at Sunday’s episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kim, 38, invites Johnson and her two sisters over to share a home-cooked meal with the famous family, including Kanye West, Kourtney and Khloé Kardashian, Kris and Kendall Jenner, along with kids North and Penelope.

West, 41, sings his wife’s praises.

“You know, she does all the research and listens every night to people’s stories,” he says of Kim, who is studying to become a lawyer and focused on prison reform.

“I am a person who stands up for what is right — and I respect someone who stands up,” says Johnson.

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Johnson was given a life sentence for a first-time nonviolent drug offense after she helped facilitate communications in a drug trafficking case. After Kim’s months-long campaign to free her, which led to a meeting with Trump, Johnson was pardoned and released last June from a federal prison in Aliceville, Alabama, where she had been serving her sentence for more than 20 years.

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As the group sits down to eat, Johnson reveals that she’s living in Arizona with her daughter, who is mom to 8-month-old twin girls.

“I like it,” Johnson says. “I miss my sisters a lot, but it feels good to be there to watch the babies grow.”

“What a gift,” says Kris, 63, starting to get emotional.

“When you left — I want to cry right now, I don’t know why,” she continues. “When you left [prison], what did you have after 20 years to bring home?”

“You can’t have anything that you came in with,” Johnson says. “What you saw me run across the street in was all that [I] had.”

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Since her release, Johnson has secured a joint book and movie deal to tell her story — but as Kim points out, many people in her position struggle to support themselves after leaving prison.

“I know you got a book deal and I know exciting things are happening for you. If it wasn’t for that, were you thinking about getting a job?” Kim asks. “And how would that have happened? Because I have heard that is the hardest thing to do.”

Johnson explains that she knew people willing to offer her employment, but many aren’t so lucky.

“That was one of the reasons that many of them came back to prison,” she says. “They couldn’t find jobs and they returned to what they knew.”

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Kim reveals that was the crux of her argument when she presented Johnson’s case to Trump.

“When I was pleading your case to the president, I was like, ‘She has family that she can live with and she has job offers,’ ” she says. “So that was a huge thing. I had to say, ‘She has a job offer.’ “

Keeping Up with the Kardashians airs Sundays (9 p.m. ET) on E!

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