Shelby County Public Defender Recognized for Advocacy on Behalf of the Mentally Ill



Contact: Josh Spickler

Law Office of the Shelby County Public Defender


Josh Spickler email

Friday, August 8, 2014 – The St. Thomas More Guild of Catholic Attorneys of the Diocese of West Tennessee has selected Shelby County Assistant Public Defender Bill Robilio as the first recipient of its “Light in the Darkness Award.”

bill robilio catholic award
Guild President, Michael Working, with Bill Robilio at award ceremony held at St. Louis Church, Memphis.

Robilio was chosen for his work as the supervising attorney with the Jericho Project, a nationally recognized jail diversion program that serves clients suffering from serious mental illness and substance abuse disorders.

The program has been held up as a model in communities across the country. Officials with the Los Angeles County Jail, the nation’s largest, are currently looking to the Jericho Project for inspiration as they make plans to improve mental health care in a planned new jail facility.

Robilio has been with the Public Defender’s Office for almost ten years and has led the Jericho team for the last four. The Jericho Project serves around 100 people each year.

“We wanted to recognize Bill for his untiring efforts on behalf of the mentally ill within the criminal court system,” said Michael Working, Guild President, “as well as for his constant professionalism”

The Guild created the award to recognize selfless service in the law to help those in despair.

You can read more about the Jericho Project here.


Download PDF of media release here.

Bill Robilio Headshot
Bill Robilio Headshot