Although it's only been a few weeks since Donald Trump, the 46th President of the United States and reality star Kim Kardashian have got together to discuss prison reform, the unusual pair have made incredible strides to improve it - most notably for one woman named Alice Marie Johnson.
Johnson, 63, has spent more than two decades behind bars after she was convicted of eight criminal counts related to a Memphis-based cocaine trafficking operation. While it was only her first offense, Johnson was sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole.
However the great-grandmother's life would drastically change when Kardashian began to champion her cause, and even took a trip to the Oval Office with her lawyer Shawn Holley to meet with Trump, his daughter Ivanka, and son-in-law Jared Kushner.
After a long discussion, Trump made the decision to grant Johnson Clemency, which would automatically commute her sentence.
According to Brittany K. Barnett, a lawyer on Johnson's legal team, Johnson was overcome emotion and felt like she’d been "resurrected from the dead," once she heard the incredible news.
A statement released by the White House acknowledged Johnson had "accepted responsibility for her past behavior and has been a model prisoner over the past two decades."
"Despite receiving a life sentence, Alice worked hard to rehabilitate herself in prison, and act as a mentor to her fellow inmates."
A video released by Alabama news station WVTM-13 showed Johnson leaving the prison van and running towards her family in her first taste of freedom. They embraced tightly in front of a crowd of onlookers.
"I've received media coverage before, but nothing like this. The outpouring of support from people all across the country has been overwhelming," Johnson wrote in an article for CNN.
Johnson had admitted she had a downward spiral in 1989 when she lost her job at FedEx and divorced her childhood sweetheart. A short time later, her youngest son passed away in a motorcycle accident.
"I want this part to be clear: I acknowledge that I have done wrong. I made the biggest mistake of my life to make ends meet and got involved with people selling drugs," she continued.
Johnson said she originally had no idea who Kardashian was prior to her advocacy work on her case, but was amazed to have such an influential celebrity in her corner.
"As soon as I found out who she was, I started getting every magazine I could find," she said. "I started reading everything that I could about her. And everyone was amazed. And I was amazed, too."
"I was like, 'You're going home,'" Kardashian said, recalling when she broke the good news to Johnson.
"We cried, maybe, on the phone for, like, three minutes straight," she continued. "Everyone was just crying."
Of course, Johnson said she was ecstatic when she received the unbelievable news.
"When she said that, I went into full-fledged Pentecostal holy dance," she said. "I started screaming and jumping."
"Right now, my prayer of focus for you was in Psalm 105. ‘Touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm,'" she added. "Kim has been anointed to do this. And no one better not touch her — even with their mouth."
The mother-of-five added that she plans to use her newfound freedom to advocate those who haven't been as fortunate as her.
"I plan on continuing to magnify this issue. And I can't stop. I can't stop. I've lived it," she concluded. "I've walked with them. I have cried with them. My life is completely intertwined forever with those who were left behind. So it can't end here."
For more stories about those behind bars, check out these fascinating reads:
- Behind Bars: Inmates Who Are Allowed To Raise Their Children In Prison
- Fathers In Prison Get A Special One-Day Reunion With Their Children
- The Voice Behind Many Bestselling Books On Tape Is Actually That of An Infamous Serial Killer