Reality television star and entrepreneur Kim Kardashian West visited the White House Thursday to speak about a new initiative aimed at helping former inmates get jobs out of prison.
Building off of criminal justice reform legislation President Donald Trump signed last year, the White House announced plans Thursday to engage agencies, nonprofits and the private sector to provide former inmates “a second chance at success.”
Introducing Kardashian West, Trump called her “a good person,” adding that “soon she’ll be one of the most successful lawyers.”
As part of the partnerships, Kardashian West announced a ride-share program for individuals getting out of prison.
“These people want to work,” Kardashian West said in the East Room. “We have a ride-share partnership where formerly incarcerated people will be gifted gift cards so that they can get rides to and from job interviews, to and from jobs, family members, and that is so important, so needed.”
Trump also announced a slew of efforts at the White House event, including “working to allow rehabilitated citizens with a criminal record for both federal government jobs and affordable housing.”
Additionally, the Bureau of Prisons will be working to connect employers directly with former prisoners; the Labor Department is setting aside $2 million to underwrite companies hiring workers with criminal backgrounds; the Education Department is expanding a Pell Grant pilot program to prisoners; and the Energy Department is launching a program to educate individuals with a criminal background about energy sector jobs.
A White House official said the President will announce a Bureau of Prisons initiative in partnership with private companies aimed at helping people who leave prison find employment.
Jessica Jackson, the national director of criminal justice advocacy group #cut50, who is traveling with Kardashian West today, said the event will focus on “how agencies and the private sector are stepping up to help people coming home from prison reintegrate and succeed.”
Kardashian West visited the White House under Trump to lobby for Alice Marie Johnson’s prison sentence to be commuted last year. She returned last fall for a listening session on clemency issues with White House officials, including the President’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Earlier this year, Kardashian West told Vogue that she she began a four-year apprenticeship with a law firm in San Francisco and plans to take the California bar exam in 2022.