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With 78 TX Prison Staff Deaths, COVID Threat 'Far From Over'

Feb. 24, 2022
The National Criminal Justice Association announces the release of PJIL's latest publication, "Canary in the Coal Mine: A Profile of Staff COVID Deaths in the Texas Prison System."
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Few incarcerated women were released during COVID. The ones who remain have struggled.

Aug. 17, 2021
PJIL Associate Director, Alycia Welch, is quoted in this article about the impact of COVID-19 on women in prisons and jails, with a particular focus on “The Pandemic Gender Gap Behind Bars,” a report Alycia and Michele wrote on this issue.
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Trauma on top of trauma: why more women are dying in jails

July 13, 2021
On the anniversary of Sandra Bland’s death at a Texas jail, PJIL Director, Michele Deitch, comments on the impact of COVID on the ongoing issue of rising incarceration rates and deaths of women inside jail facilities. The article cites the report about this issue that Michele and Alycia co-authored, “The Pandemic Gender Gap Behind Bars.” Advisory Committee Chair, Andrea Armstrong, is also quoted on the situation facing women in rural and small jail facilities.
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But Who Oversees the Overseers? The Status of Prison and Jail Oversight in the United States

May 6, 2021
Updating and expanding upon Michele’s 50-state inventory of prison oversight models published in 2010, this article provides background information about the nature, value, and history of correctional oversight; documents the shifting landscape and increasing momentum around the oversight issue over the last decade; and provides a comprehensive assessment of the state of prison and jail oversight in the US today.
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Pandemic Gender Gap Behind Bars: Meeting the Needs of Women in Custody During COVID-19 and Planning for the Future

May 1, 2021
This report examines the distinct harms that women in custody experience during incarceration and highlights the ways in which correctional agencies’ COVID-19 restrictions are exacerbating those harms. The report recommends a set of gender-responsive approaches to COVID precautions in corrections facilities that would simultaneously strengthen public health and improve outcomes for women, their families, and communities.
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Georgia legislators, citing Reuters report, want every jail death investigated

Jan. 25, 2021
Georgia ranks among 17 state governments with no mechanism for oversight of local jails, according to research by Reuters and Michele Deitch, a corrections specialist at the University of Texas.
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Why 4,998 died in U.S. jails without getting their day in court

Oct. 16, 2020
Seventeen states have no rules or oversight mechanisms for local jails, according to Reuters research and a pending study by Michele Deitch, a corrections specialist at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. In five other low-population states, all detention facilities are run by state corrections agencies. The other 28 have some form of standards, such as assessing inmates’ health on arrival or checking on suicidal inmates at prescribed intervals. Yet those standards often are minimal, and in at least six of the states, the agencies that write them lack enforcement power or the authority to refer substandard jails for investigation.
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Designing And Planning A New Women’s Jail Facility For Travis County: A Roadmap For Reform

Dec. 1, 2018
As Chair and member, respectively, on the Travis County Sheriff’s Women’s Jail Advisory Committee in 2018, Michele and Alycia detail a vision for a reimagined, gender-responsive facility for women in custody at the Travis County Correctional Complex.