Michele is interviewed on juvenile systems around the country manage their most challenging youth. “They’re just throwing up their hands and saying: ‘We’ve exhausted our options. We just don’t know what to do," Michele comments.
In this article about the ways agencies are continuing to shield data about the impact of COVID-19 in prisons, Michele responds to TDCJ’s claim that it waits for autopsy results before reporting deaths in custody due to COVID. The article also highlights findings from, “Hidden Figures,” our report detailing a lack of data transparency regarding the impact of COVID-19 in state prisons, local jails and state-run juvenile facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There’s a sense that COVID is over, that the pandemic is behind us, and that is just not the case,” Deitch said. “We have to remember that prisons and jails were hit so much harder than the outside communities were, and in many jurisdictions, they were late to provide vaccinations to incarcerated people.”
Citing “Dead Man Waiting,” our report on deaths among those who were approved for parole but were still waiting for their release from prison, this article describes the nationwide problem of release delays due to programming requirements--a problem that was exacerbated during the pandemic.
Michele and Alycia, summarize findings from our Dead Man Waiting report and discuss the implications. The article includes a quote from the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles responding to delayed releases among people approved for parole due to programming requirements.
New York has not followed that recommendation, prompting University of Texas at Austin researchers to list the state among seven others that have done the least to shed light on COVID-19 inside facilities. Secrecy during the pandemic, they warned in their new “Hidden Figures” report, makes it “difficult to determine if juvenile corrections agencies are responding to the complex and unique needs of incarcerated youth.”
Florida news investigation using PJIL's Hidden Figures report to look at the state's ranking for transparency about COVID in incarceration facilities, including how it reported vaccination plans and the implementation of them.