Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Q & A with Judge Hatchett

One of my fave television shows is Judge Hatchett. Her show gives tough love and help to those youth who appear in her courtroom. Judge Hatchett became Georgia's first African American chief presiding judge of a state court and the department head of one of the largest juvenile court systems in the country. She said of this appointment, "I simply could not turn down an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of wayward children."
Judge Glenda Hatchett was interviewed by Black Enterprise.com and discussed why everyone should be committed to nurturing today's youth:
Q. You've been on the bench since 1990, beginning in Georgia's juvenile court system. During your tenure, what behaviors were most common?

"Most people would be surprised to find out that truancy is the No.1 predictor among boys that they are going to have a criminal record, and the No. 2 predictor among girls. But in terms of the actual caseload, we had an explosive number of children involved in drug dealing."
Q. You're a big advocate of prevention and intervention. How does your approach work compared with typical punishments?

"Well, when the Olympics were in Atlanta in 1996, I went to a group of local business leaders and said, "I need jobs. I need jobs for my kids in juvenile court. I need them to also be the beneficiaries of the coming economic boom." And I will tell you, that summer we had a decrease in juvenile crime because my kids were working. We have got to figure how we can provide opportunities for children so that they don't end up in juvenile courts like mine throughout the country. Once they do get to me, then I've got to figure out how I can keep them from further penetrating the system. That's when I do the interventions."
Q. What can we do?

"A lot of people think, "I can't impact someone's life." But you can. What we really need are people to do hands-on mentoring. There is an extremely long waiting list at the Big Brothers/Big Sisters, particularly for African American children. In Atlanta alone, we have 1,000 boys right now—today—who are waiting to be paired with a mentor. So think about what it must be like across the country. We need people! And for people who can't mentor, pull out your checkbook and sign someone up for Little League, pay for piano lessons, send kids to camp. We've got to think not just about the children in our home, but how we can impact people that we know."

Read the entire interview here.

Judge Hatchett's website
Become a mentor here.


Golden Silence said...


I've always liked Judge Hatchett---she definitely seems "no nonsense" and like she really cares about the people who walk into her court.

bgb staff said...

I totally agree! When I worked for a mentoring program, her office called us to find a mentor for a young girl. She definitely cares about today's youth.

Anonymous said...

This is a great site. It's good to hear about celebrities and athletes giving back to their communities.

Tee said...

Judge Hatchett-- she is true to her words, she has an advice team that will answers questions for u, i sent in one concerning a foster child thats been in my care for 3 years, and they responded, i held on to that response, and quess what, he's finally mines as of 1/10/08. Thanks to the advice team of Judge Glenda Hatchett
S. White

Bettie Cisco said...

Judge Hatchett,
I watched Nagel on your show today and it truly touched my heart. Here in Salt Lake City, Utah, we sometimes feel left out from the black community from afar. There are so many Black teens in this state that are getting caught up in the system that do not see Professsional Black Men that are interacting with the kids. Would you be kind enough to get me in touch with the 100 Black men assoc. I cry out to you today that we start some type of program in the state of Utah. i live in Tooele utah a very small town west of Salt Lake City, and this is a predomintly white community and have raised 5 boys. I would like to start some kind of mentoring program to my grandchildren's generation. We are losing them at a alarming rate here in Utah. I need your help.
Bettie Cisco