Chief Judge Cassandra Kirk Says No Jail Time For Kids Selling Water, Entrepreneurship Program Instead

June 11, 2020 - 4:54 pm
Chief Judge Cassandra Kirk

Rashad Richey

After a viral video showed young teens being handcuffed for selling water on a street corner in Atlanta, GA, community leaders stepped up and said "not on our watch". Media personalities Derrick Boazman and Rashad Richey along with metro-Atlanta residents took to the streets to sell water with teens and helped them raise over $2,000. Richey then contacted Fulton Chief Magistrate Judge Cassandra Kirk and the Atlanta Black Chambers (ABC) to discuss ways to help these teens explore their entrepreneurial prowess without jail time or probation if arrested by an Atlanta police officer. 


After a series of conversations, The Business Plan was born. This unique solutions-based program will be supervised by the (ABC) and provides a 6-week diversionary program to develop business skills, customer service training and strategic business management, as well as offering pro-social and pro-entrepreneurial services to youth aged 17-19. "For us this is a no-brainer. When people say there is a problem, my first response is to see how we can offer a solution. I am grateful to our willing community partners, the Atlanta Black Chambers and the District Attorney's Office, who see our vision. These are our youth," said Judge Kirk. 


The Court will recommend teens to the ABC which will connect each participant to a structured program. The Court will partner with the Atlanta Black Chambers, a non-profit organization consisting of individuals engaging in Business, Community and Government activities with a mission to serve as an advocate for the creation and growth of competitive, profitable and sustainable Black owned entities. 


The structure of the program includes;


1st Week: Mentorship (getting to know the participant)
2nd Week: The Art of Commerce (creative approaches encouraged)
3rd Week: Developing a Business Plan/Model I (any business chosen by the participant)
4th Week: Developing a Business Plan/Model II
5th Week: Customer Service & Customer Retention
6th Week: Business Plan Presentation

A statement from the Magistrate Court of Fulton County read in part, "This program allows the Magistrate Court of Fulton County to continue in its mission to Inform, Engage and Empower the community by joining with community partners to target an underlying community concern, while improving long-term community safety, reducing recidivism, and empowering community members to have a voice in the criminal justice system."


Listen to the full interview below.


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