In a news story on safety checks in North Carolina jails, Michele comments on the role of understaffing in deficiencies in safety checks. Michele previously served as a court-appointed prison monitor in that state.
Linn County Jail (Iowa) reports an alarming number of in-custody deaths. Michele notes that the highly surveilled, closed environment of a jail should prevent deaths. She also advocates for the independent investigation of deaths behind bars.
Michele calls attention to how a family's grief of an incarcerated loved one's death can be made worse by the way the news is delivered. She advocates for death notifications to be as quick and empathetic as possible.
Hundreds await a state psychiatric hospital bed while in county jail anywhere from months to more than 800 days, raising health and legal concerns. PJIL's associate director, Alycia Welch, explains the state of competency restoration in Texas and offers recommendations for improvement.
“The agency is competing against other jobs that may offer higher wages, including the oil and gas industry,” said PJIL Director Michele Deitch, “So there’s not a huge pool of people to call on to work in these spaces”
Michele and PJIL researcher Benny Hernandez III were interviewed about excessive temperatures in the Texas Criminal Justice Department. Benny recounts his personal experiences trying to stay cool in prison during the summer months.