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Kim Kardashian Explains How ‘The Justice Project’ and Working in Prison Reform Has Changed Her for the Better (Exclusive)

She may be best known as a reality star, but Kim Kardashian has learned a lot about herself during her most recent project. While promoting Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project, the 39-year-old revealed exclusively to Us Weekly that her work with prison reform has impacted every bit of her life.

“It’s definitely changed me. I think the thing that’s changed about me most is just my empathy for people,” the law student, 39, told Us in a new interview. “I used to maybe be a little bit more judgmental on people’s situations, not really knowing their situations.”

Related: The Best Things Kim Kardashian Has Said About Motherhood

In the new documentary, Kardashian, with a legal team including #cut50 cofounder, lawyer and criminal justice advocate Jessica Jackson, visit prisons and hear inmates’ stories about what landed them behind bars to begin with.

Kim Kardashian Says Doing 'Justice Project' Has Changed Her
Kim Kardashian West speaks at the “Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project” panel during the Oxygen TCA 2020 Winter Press Tour at the Langham Huntington on January 18, 2020 in Pasadena, California. Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

“If I were to have heard someone got life in prison for being on drugs and stabbing a family member to death, I would be like, ‘What an awful person and they deserve that time,'” she admitted, previewing one case that she learned about in the process. One woman, who is featured in the documentary had been raped since she was 5 years old and had been in and out of hospitals for trauma

Related: Kardashian Family: Meet the Next Generation

“It was all documented,” the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star noted. “No one stepped in, no one asked what was going on at home. You think that she’s having a hard life and gets on drugs and then goes over to that same person’s house — her step-grandfather that had been raping — and asks for some money. And he starts to sexually assault her and she pulls a knife out and stabs him to death. But knowing that none of her past was ever allowed in [the] trial, she was made out to be a drug addict that robbed someone and killed him.”

Kardashian explained that seeing the case on paper, she never would have understood.

Kim Kardashian Says Doing 'Justice Project' Has Changed Her
Kim Kardashian West attends the 9th Annual WSJ. Magazine Innovator Awards at The Museum of Modern Art on November 6, 2019 in New York City. Gregory Pace/Shutterstock

“Now I completely want to dig deeper. I want to know what led them to make that decision. Where did they come from? What was their history?” she asked. “I want to fight for that 5-year-old girl who couldn’t help herself.”

During the interview, the KKW Beauty founder also remembered a transgender woman she met in prison who “looked too masculine in her mom’s eyes, so her mom would have her boyfriend rape her to make her more feminine.”

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The woman explained the situation to Kardashian. “One day, she got tired of him and while he was raping her, hit him over the head. She got life for killing him,” she explained to Us. “Stories like that make you think. Why isn’t there a system to protect these people or hear their stories and understand their stories, when they’re the ones that are going through the trauma? There’s no justice there for them.”

Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project debuts on Oxygen Sunday, April 5, at 7 p.m. ET.

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