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Texas county jails near breaking point

Nov. 18, 2021
The pandemic has pushed Texas county jails to the brink. Incarcerated people there have been hit hard by COVID-19, and jails are struggling to keep staff and attract new employees.
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Weekly Roundup of News and Views on Solitary Confinement

Nov. 10, 2021
Independent Oversight Is Essential for a Safe and Healthy Prison System,” Michele’s essay published in the Brennan Center for Justice’s series on punitive excess, was featured in Solitary Watch’s Weekly Roundup of News and Views on Solitary Confinement.
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How Deaths in Texas Jails Are Ignored and Unresolved

Nov. 1, 2021
This article analyzes more than 400 deaths in jail custody in Texas and finds that Texas’s patchwork regulatory system repeatedly fails to ensure safe conditions behind bars. Michele’s research on jail oversight is cited to provide a comparative perspective on the state’s regulatory practices for local jails and the effectiveness of minimum standards.
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Arizona Privatized Prison Health Care to Save Money. But at What Cost?

Oct. 31, 2021
In an article describing a landmark class-action lawsuit over the substandard privatized medical care provided in Arizon’s prisons, The Marshall Project quotes PJIL Director Michele Deitch on the cost of litigation outweighing the cost of providing adequate care.
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Ohio prison plagued by deaths, suicide attempts and staff problems

Oct. 29, 2021
No one knows what goes on inside," said Michele Deitch, an attorney and senior lecturer at the University of Texas Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.
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Some States Are Cloaking Prison COVID Data

Oct. 27, 2021
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.
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Bexar County Jail detained a man for five extra months. There’s no clear answer to why.

Oct. 18, 2021
Commenting on the circumstances that contributed to the death of a man in custody at the Bexar County Jail in San Antonio, TX, Michele describes the problems facing county jails as they struggle to mitigate the spread of COVID, especially as population levels continued to increase during the pandemic.
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Abuse at Texas juvenile facilities targeted in federal civil rights investigation

Oct. 13, 2021
Asked about the U.S. Department of Justice launching a civil rights investigation into the abuse of children housed at the Texas Juvenile Justice Department’s state secure facilities, Michele explains that it will be important for the DOJ to assess how much the location and size of the facilities and the severe understaffing may have contributed to the problems that were identified.
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Jail and prison suicides increased by 39% over last 2 decades, federal data shows

Oct. 12, 2021
Describing the factors that may contribute to the rise in jail and prison suicides over the last 2 decades, this article reprinted a quote Michele provided The Marshall Project in their story about pandemic conditions potentially exacerbating the risk factors for suicide attempts.