“Families of the Mafia” star Karen Gravano is diving into prison reform to help reverse the verdict of her boyfriend who is currently serving a life sentence.
“I had built a relationship with a man who I’ve been friends with for years and we’re actually working on his case helping to bring him home,” Gravano told ET Canada. “He was sentenced to a lifetime in prison and I’m just dedicated to that right now. He’s in South Carolina, and I travel to see him, but I’ve just been working really hard with all of the laws that have changed, the climate in the courtrooms that’s going on, there’s so many emotions, there’s so many people coming home from prisons now that laws are changing so I am just here to be a voice for him and other people.”
“Once a person goes to prison, it’s like they lose their voice and they’re counted out in life, but they’re human beings and there has been so many harsh sentences, and I believe people can change, they made mistakes in life and they do deserve a second chance,” she added.
Prior to the pandemic, Gravano was flying to visit her man once a month, but now that new regulations are in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, it’s been “pretty hard” for the MTV star to get access. Though the couple haven’t seen each other in two months, they did have time to discuss the importance of sharing his story, as well as, the long and gruelling process Gravano is experiencing to set him free to reality TV viewers.
“It has been getting a lot of traction currently with Kim Kardashian bringing prison reform to the forefront, and I think there’s a platform to explain that people make mistakes and not everyone in prison is a bad person,” Gravano said. “She’s someone who inspired me and I commend her, and others who are speaking out, because if you have a platform it’s good to be able to speak for others who can’t. There are so many people that because of the laws that have changed, are able to come home, and now they’re able to speak up, but there’s still so many people locked behind bars without a voice and if they’re going to change laws, it has to balance out and be fair, but I don’t think we’re completely there and that’s why it’s so important for people to keep speaking on it and show that these people are not forgotten about.”
“So this was something him and I spoke about and then I spoke with the producers of the show, and it was just very important to me,” she added. “The main point isn’t a love story, this is about what a person has to go through when they’re fighting for someone in prison – the daily struggles, setbacks, working so hard to be dismissed.”
Watching her mother fight for love is an action Karina Seabrook told ET Canada is “personal.”
“For me it’s personal, and I actually kind of got to understand more about prison reform and our legal system, and I’m seeing it more and more on social media,” Seabrook said. “Seeing my mom fight for someone she loves to come home who has a life sentence everyday, I decided to get involved and understand these cases and how some people are getting a life sentence overturned. My father was away my whole life growing up so it is important to fight for people who are behind bars and missing out on their kids lives. I understand people get in situations, but not everyone deserves the sentencing they did get.”
Gravano hopes to one day pay it forward by granting her boyfriend time with his kids and grandkids.
“He has children and I see how much Karina missed out from her father not being here so I think my greatest gift is for him to see the expression on his kids faces, even though they’re older now, they missed so much of his life, and he’s missed so much of theirs. He even has grandkids now so just seeing friends, family, people who have supported him throughout the years, and just celebrating life,” Gravano fantasized of his homecoming.
“Families of the Mafia” is set to make its long-awaited return on Thursday, July 15th at 9PM ET/PT, following “Jersey Shore: Family Vacation” only on MTV.