Public Defender to Present “Locked Up and Locked Out”

Travis A. WilliamsGeorgia Southern University welcomes Travis Williams, a public defender in the new documentary, “Gideon’s Army,” as he presents “Locked Up and Locked Out” at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 25 in the Russell Union Ballroom.

“Locked Up and Locked Out” is based on the documentary, which follows a group of young public defenders in the Deep South who contend with low pay, long hours and staggering caseloads to represent the poor. The film’s title comes from the landmark 1963 Supreme Court ruling in Gideon v. Wainwright that established the right to counsel for defendants in criminal cases who are unable to afford their own attorneys.

Williams, a public defender for more than five years at the Hall County, Ga., Public Defender’s office, will dive deep into the discussion of deficiencies in the U.S. criminal justice system, including mass incarceration and what it takes to maintain passion and commitment to be a public defender.

Williams graduated from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in 2005 with his undergraduate degree in business administration. He then continued his education by attending University of Georgia Law School and graduated from there in 2008. He was named the 2011 Assistant Public Defender of the Year by the Georgia Association of Circuit Public Defenders and in 2012 was honored as a “Rising Lawyer Under 40” by the Daily Report, a Georgia Legal Publications. In his time as a public defender, Williams has tried 25 felony jury trials, losing eight. Of approximately 20 appeals, he has been granted five reversals by the Georgia Court of Appeals.

This presentation is sponsored by the Multicultural Student Center, the Department of Sociology & Anthropology, the Justice Studies Club, the NAACP, the Association of Latin American Students, the Sociological Society and the Campus Life Enrichment Committee. The event is free and open to the public.

Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers 125 degree programs serving more than 20,500 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement.  Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit: www.georgiasouthern.edu.

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