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System failure: How a man killed himself on suicide watch in the Harford County jail

Feb. 15, 2024
"Michele Deitch, a senior lecturer at the University of Texas who specializes in correctional oversight and deaths in custody, said that changing a medical provider would likely leave in place much of the jail’s screening process. It would not affect other contributing factors such as the layout of the facility and housing decisions, she added. 'Suicide prevention is not a function of just one part of an agency,' Deitch said. 'It requires systemic changes.'”
12 News

Hospitalizations and HVAC repairs: The cost of extreme heat in Arizona’s women’s prison

Jan. 26, 2024
“'It's unfortunately becoming commonplace in a lot of particularly southern states and Texas where I live,' said Michele Deitch, who leads the Prison and Jail Innovation Lab at the University of Texas at Austin. 'I'm not surprised by it. But I'm still horrified that anybody should be asked to live in those kinds of conditions.'”
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Harris County Jail may be first in state to require body cameras

Jan. 25, 2024
Michele Deitch cited a September research brief from the CNA Corp that found that body cameras were somewhat effective in reducing use of force rates at jails.
New Jersey Monitor

County jail conditions — ‘hazardous even to a dog’ — spur calls for independent oversight

Jan. 22, 2024
“'Conditions inside these facilities are, in many places, very, very problematic,' Deitch said. 'These are places that have total control over the lives and wellbeing of people inside. You need transparency and routine monitoring of conditions, in order to ensure people’s safety.'”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia prison system clamps down on information that could expose critical problems

Dec. 28, 2023
"Attorney Michele Deitch, who helped draft the American Bar Association’s Standards on the Treatment of Prisoners, said without independent oversight and transparency, you cannot have a safe prison system. “It’s transparency about conditions, it’s data transparency, it’s knowing about deaths in custody. It’s just making what’s happening inside visible to the public. 'Government 101 is that you need transparency in order to have accountability in government.'”
New York Times

Who Investigates the Sheriff? In Mississippi, Often No One.

Dec. 28, 2023
PJIL Director Michele Deitch said that "the allegations of brutality described in the lawsuits were a window into a world that sheriffs have been allowed to conceal."
Mississippi Today

Who Investigates the Sheriff? In Mississippi, Often No One.

Dec. 28, 2023
“'There is no transparency for what happens inside these local jails, and we know that abuse thrives in dark places,' said Michele Deitch, the director of a center at the University of Texas at Austin that studies jail oversight and operations."
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

FROM THE INSIDE: Criminal Kingpins

Dec. 28, 2023
“'Georgia’s prison system is not accomplishing a goal of public safety because people are still committing crimes both while they’re incarcerated and after they get out,' Deitch said. 'It is clearly not serving to rehabilitate people, if incarcerated people are still involved in these kinds of criminal behavior. There is no meaningful incapacitation if they still have the ability to be involved in criminal activities while they are locked up. And no one appears to be deterred from criminal behavior just because they are incarcerated. The public is getting nothing for its money, except a worse outcome.'”
New York Focus

This Agency Is Supposed to Monitor Jails. Is Anyone Monitoring It?

Dec. 18, 2023
“'The New York State Commission of Correction looks really good on paper, but I think, in practice, it doesn’t do most of the things that it says it does,' said Michele Deitch, a correctional oversight expert and director of the Prison and Jail Innovation Lab at the University of Texas at Austin."
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Texas judge grants woman emergency abortion

Dec. 8, 2023
“'That’s a super hard standard to meet,' said Michele Deitch, an expert on jail oversight and director of the Prison and Jail Innovation Lab at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin."