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Punitive Excess

April 11, 2022
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“No Light. No Nothing.” Inside Louisiana’s Harshest Juvenile Lockup

March 10, 2022
Michele comments on the mismanaged state of the nation's juvenile justice facilities.
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New bill proposes civilian oversight for Massachusetts prisons

Jan. 19, 2022
In coverage on Massachusetts' new bill to establish independent civilian oversight of the state's correctional facilities and Michele comments on the increasing momentum of prison oversight bodies.
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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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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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A fight to expose the hidden human costs of incarceration

Aug. 16, 2021
This article chronicles the work of Andrea Armstrong, Loyola University School of Law professor and PJIL’s Advisory Committee Chair, in her effort to document the loss of life inside jails and prisons in Louisiana, the state with the highest in-custody mortality rate. Michele is quoted describing the opacity of local jails, relative to state and federal prisons.
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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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When prisons locked down, prisoners were denied release

June 29, 2021
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.