Savannah Chrisley is speaking out about her parents. ET’s Cassie DiLaura spoke to Todd Chrisley and Julie Chrisley‘s daughter, who addressed her parents’ living conditions in prison and revealed why she’s worried for them as they continue serving out their sentences following their convictions for conspiracy to commit bank fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States and tax fraud.
“You have no air conditioning. It can be 115 degrees inside. You’re padlocking ice machines, you’re not giving proper medical care, you’re giving people the wrong medication,” Savannah alleged of the living conditions at her dad’s Florida facility and her mom’s Kentucky prison.
“I have a hard time when we’re giving billions of dollars to other countries overseas and we’re not even taking care of the people that are within our own system,” she added. “I’ve spoken out about it. I’ve had a lot of lawyers jump on board to where there is the potential of a huge lawsuit. It’s just sad.”
Savannah has been inspired to speak out about prison reform in the wake of her parents’ sentencing, telling ET that she believes it’s her “responsibility to do better.” The fact that Savannah is so public about her feelings does cause her worry, though.
“Someone reached out to me and they were like, ‘You better be careful, because by you saying these things, these guards could potentially place contraband on your mother or father to have them shipped to a higher security prison,'” she claimed. “For me, that’s worrisome because there’s so much government overreach.”
“It’s so hard because it creates so much uproar, but my goal is to not create this divide, it’s to create love. At the end of the day, these people are not their mistakes,” Savannah added, before noting that she’s advocating for prisoners to gain access to “mental health treatment and all these different things to prepare them to enter back into society.”
As she continues that fight, Savannah is also hopeful about her parents’ appeal, telling ET, “It’s all been filed and now we just sit and wait.” Though they’re still waiting for their appeal to move forward, Todd and Julie recently received reductions in their prison sentences, which, Savannah said “has helped drastically.”
Amid the “waiting game,” Savannah has remained in near-constant contact with her parents.
“I speak to them multiple times a day… and then I see them every weekend… I go back and forth, which is also not a sustainable lifestyle to just be like playing ping pong between Florida and Kentucky, but I do it,” she said. “It’s so great seeing them, because I get to hug on them, love on them, we get to catch up on all the things. I think it’s just hard when you just sit back and realize how much life goes on without those people there.”
All the while, Savannah has been focused on putting “one foot in front of the other.” She’s largely doing so for her siblings, Grayson and Chloe, whom she’s now caring for.
“I look at my parents and I’m like, ‘I’m doing this for them. I’m doing it for two kids that are looking up to me,'” she said. “I’m also doing it for myself, because I’m coming into myself. I’m finding my own path forward. I’m paving a way for myself in a world that is full of cancel culture, that was so quick to just exile us. Now it’s like, alright, I’m not going anywhere. I’m staying. I’m coming back. Who knows what’s gonna happen?”
“That was the [last] show I watched with my parents before they left,” she said. “… We watched it and my Mama’s like, ‘You would do so good at something like this.’ And then the opportunity just presented itself and I was like, ‘I’m saying yes.'”
In fact, Savannah noted, “I think the biggest reason I did the show is so my parents could watch it.”
“That was the only big reason I did it, ’cause I was like, ‘I want to have a connection with them that I wouldn’t have otherwise,'” she said. “I hope that that show and that experience just creates so many different ways for me to get to speak to people.”
Savannah was also inspired to do the show because she’s “in a place in life where I’m not saying no to anything.”
“If an opportunity presents itself I’m taking it and I’m running with it. It’s more so for the kids too, to show them that it doesn’t matter what comes your way, everyone’s gonna try to beat you down, everyone’s gonna try to cancel you… and you just show up, you say yes, and you put your best foot forward,” she told ET. “I feel like I did that. It was a very growth-filled experience. I’m so proud. I had like so much fun. I can’t wait for episode one because I thrived.”
Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test premieres Sept. 25 on Fox.