Office of the Georgia Capital Defender, Mitigation Specialist

Lily Engleman is a native of Georgia who is gripped by the way class, race, and history have collided to create an American criminal justice system that is rife with abuses of power and discrimination. As a mitigation specialist with the Office of the Georgia Capital Defender, she helps represent individuals facing the death penalty by investigating mitigating themes, such as intellectual disability, mental health issues, substance abuse, and histories of abuse and neglect, that help secure life verdicts instead of death.

Lily holds a Master of Social Work degree from Georgia State University and a B.A. in Criminal Justice and English Literature from Georgia College and State University. During her social work studies, she partnered with the Southern Center for Human Rights, a nonprofit law firm in Atlanta that addresses human rights issues in southeastern jails, prisons, and local and state laws. She also had the privilege of working with the social work department at the Office of the Public Defender, Atlanta Judicial Circuit, where she worked to ensure that jail inmates with substance abuse or mental health issues were sentenced to a treatment facility instead of prison.

Lily’s experience and interests outside of the criminal justice system include LGBT issues; she has conducted and published researched centered on how elderly LGBT individuals plan for and cope with end of life care. She has also worked as a child abuse and neglect investigator with the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services, a position she loved for the fast-paced environment and enriching work. Additionally, she volunteers with Hire Heroes USA, a nonprofit that provides employment services to veterans transitioning to civilian life.

In her free time, Lily enjoys traveling; in 2011 her passion for exploring the world led her to Gwangju, South Korea for three years where she was introduced to the challenges and rewards of teaching English to grade school students and adults. Lily is an avid runner and proud member of the Atlanta Track Club.