OAKWOOD - The University of North Georgia's (UNG's) Gainesville campus will host a screening Oct. 15 of an HBO documentary featuring Travis Williams of the Hall County Public Defender Office.
Williams plays a leading role in the award-winning "Gideon's Army" and will hold a question-and-answer session after the screening.
"Gideon's Army" tells the story of three Southern public defenders, including Williams, who strive to provide strong representation for their clients in a criminal justice system strained with assumptive processes and attorneys battling caseloads over the maximum limit.
More than 12 million people are arrested in the U.S. each year. Fifty years after the landmark Gideon v. Wainwright case, which paved the way for the creation and expansion of public defenders' offices, most of those 12 million defendants will be represented by one of the nation's 15,000 public defenders.
"This incredible documentary shows the impact on a community when people don't get proper legal representation," said Robert Robinson, UNG's director of multicultural student affairs. "Many of our students will be working in the community, making this a great opportunity for firsthand, practical experience. The Human Services and Delivery Administration program will be bringing many of their students, as will several other departments. We are also glad to be able to provide this opportunity to community members, and hope to see many of them in attendance as well."
"Gideon's Army" was an official selection in the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The film was awarded the editing prize at the festival, and premiered on Jan. 21 at the event during a week-long screening.
Presented by the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and the Human Services and Delivery Administration program at UNG, the film showing is free and open to the public, and will be held from 1-3 p.m. in room 3110 of the Martha T. Nesbitt Building on the Gainesville Campus.