Kim Kardashian West swaps KUWTK for true crime in The Justice Project, but it’s real people who take the spotlight
Kim’s new show is surprisingly hard-hitting and very important, says Helen Daly
The Justice Project sees Kim Kardashian West take on true crime after she conquered the reality TV scene with her fellow Keeping Up with the Kardashians cast mates (AKA, her family).
In her new venture, KKW shows us what she’s been working on for the past couple years – and it’s a lot more than just her cosmetics line and her shape-wear brand, Skims.
While studying to take the bar, Kardashian-West has been working hard on prison reform for inmates who are being held on tough sentences.
The focus of the project they’re all working on is to get people to rethink how we approach criminals, says human rights lawyer, Jessica Jackson Sloane, who features on The Justice Project alongside Kardashian-West.
“What you learn [in America] is people who go to jail for prison is that bad people go to prison for doing bad. The Justice Project is where someone for the first time has taken four cases and looked at them not for what was the crime committed but looked at them to see why the crime committed,” she tells RadioTimes.com exclusively. “We’re telling the other side of the story of the crime and we’re able to talk about the person who committed the crime in a much more human way.”
In the show itself documents four cases of prisoners who are working hard to get out of prison – and all have compelling reasons to be free. Dawn Jackson, Alexis Martin, Momolu Stewart and David Sheppard are all working with Kardashian West and her team of attorneys to get early release.
The gripping documentary follows the hard work the lawyers are doing as the prisoners get the chance to tell their side of the story and how they ended up behind bars.
It’s incredibly compelling to hear first-hand the circumstances that led them down their paths, and even Kardashian-West finds herself moved by some of the more traumatic cases.
Kardashian-West, who says herself she is still learning but is reacting to things she finds “unfair”, narrates the true crime documentary after hand-picking each case from a large wealth of letters she receives from prisoners asking for help.
Speaking about the KUWTK star’s involvement in the project, Jackson Sloane added: “Kim’s been an incredible voice in the movement. She just came into this field over 2 years ago and done so much good work. She’s extremely passionate about this issue and it really comes through in the documentary.
“It’s going to show a whole new audience of people who like Kim and follow her work who have maybe never thought about this. Her support is extremely meaningful.”
That’s just the point about Kardashian-West in The Justice Project: she is never the focus of the documentary, it’s these real prisoners behind bars who are the stars of the show.
It’s not an easy watch, and without a doubt it makes for a long and gruelling viewing at two hours. But it’s incredibly important to see the different cases played out in an honest and truthful way.
These cases are complex and without a doubt have nuances that we need Kardashian-West and her lawyers to guide us through. It’s clear, concise and actually helps to explain the law in an easy way.
By the end of the two hours, we find out just how hard Kardashian-West and her team worked – and more importantly - how successful they were. Of the four featured in the documentary, Kardashian-West has helped Momolu Stewart and David Sheppard among others not featured, out of prison – and thankfully, those moments have been captured on camera which makes for an emotional and uplifting ending.
Although The Justice Project is not the most ground-breaking documentary and will probably struggle to stand out among the bizarre true crime phenomenon of Tiger King and Don’t F*** with Cats, it’s the normality of these cases that make them so interesting.
Having Kardashian-West's name on board will no doubt help, but that's really all for the better. As KKW says herself, she wants to use her voice for good. And the cause couldn't be better. These are real prisoners who are fighting real battles in America, and the work being done to help them should rightfully be brought to light.