Photo of Paulina Lucio Maymon

Paulina Lucio Maymon

  • Hosted by Southern Center for Human Rights
  • Sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, LLP, UPS, Inc.
  • Service location Atlanta, Georgia
  • Law school American University Washington College of Law
  • Issue area Children/Youth, Criminal Justice Reform
  • Fellowship class year 2022
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Paulina (she/her/hers) will advocate on behalf of incarcerated people in Georgia who were sentenced to life in prison as children through direct representation in parole proceedings, education, and policy reform.

In Georgia, more than 600 people are serving life sentences for crimes they committed as children—some as young as 13 years old. 78% of these individuals are Black. Each is supposed to receive a meaningful opportunity for parole, but they do not. Parole applicants in Georgia have no legal right to appear before the State Board of Pardons and Paroles. They have no right to counsel, present evidence, call expert witnesses, or even access their parole files.

Having a parole lawyer in Georgia is critical. A lawyer is able to submit a written advocacy packet to the Board, which tells the story of who that child has become in the past decades. Without this advocacy, people serving life sentences since childhood will have little to no opportunity to obtain release, as the Board will continue to make decisions based primarily on the Department of Corrections paperwork, which is often incomplete and deficient. Such paperwork certainly does not show who these children were, who they have become, and the community support they would have if paroled.

Fellowship Plans

During the Fellowship, Paulina will provide parole representation for people serving life sentences for crimes that occurred when they were children and assist those clients who are granted parole with their reentry into society. She will also train other lawyers and student lawyers on parole representation in Georgia and create a Georgia Juvenile Parole Handbook. Finally, with the help of the Southern Center for Human Right’s policy experts, she will draft model legislation to reform parole proceedings for individuals serving life sentences since childhood in Georgia.

Media

Greenberg Traurig Names its 2022 Equal Justice Works Fellows

Because I refuse to live in a society that gives up on children, I will fight to ensure that people serving life sentences since childhood have a meaningful opportunity to obtain release. Having a real shot at parole is especially important in the Deep South, where the legal system is plagued by systemic racism and overcriminalization.

Paulina Lucio Maymon /
2022 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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