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Only a quarter of Texas prisons have air conditioning, here’s what that means for prisoners

April 27, 2022
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.
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Do Texas prisons violate human rights? One Scottish judge says yes

March 17, 2022
In a ground breaking decision, a Scottish court denies extradition to Texas on basis of poor prison conditions. Michele urges officials to acknowledge that the state's prison standards are not up to international human rights standards.
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Arizona’s privatized prison health care has been failing for years. A new court case could change that

March 14, 2022
Michele supports creating incentive to keep staffing and care at or below minimum. “There are questions about whether private health care [is] capable of providing appropriate services, given that the profit motive is going to interfere with the provision of care,” said Deitch. “They have a built-in incentive to limit the treatment that’s provided.”
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Arizona’s privatized prison health care has been failing for years. A new court case could change that

March 14, 2022
Michele offers commentary on the provision of healthcare in prisons and incentives for clinical staff to care for the prison populations.
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Advocates and jailers fear riot conditions as violence persists in Harris County

Feb. 2, 2022
Conditions in Texas' largest and most violent jail worsen as staff shortages, overcrowding and trial backlogs become increasingly dramatic, but Michele discusses the need for more data on jail conditions to determine the causes for violence.
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ON EDGE: Novel city program works to draw some criminal suspects into mental health treatment to keep them from coming back

Jan. 27, 2022
An Aurora, Colorado mental health program for jail populations aims to stop recidivism. Michele highlights the need for community health investment.
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Citizens’ review board probe finds misconduct by two deputies in San Diego jail death

Jan. 9, 2022
Investigators find misconduct relating to a death in custody after two San Diego sheriff's deputies failed to provide medical attention. Michele comments on the need for deputies to err on the side of caution when it comes to incarcerated persons needing medical services.
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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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One bill in Texas legislature would ease extreme heat in Texas prisons. Another makes it worse.

Sept. 25, 2021
Michele is quoted on the potential impact of two bills moving through the legislative process—one that would waive jail standards for immigrants and another that would create climate control requirements for state prisons.
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Experts Say the Culture Is Often to Blame When Lock-ups Spin Out of Control

Sept. 23, 2021
Changing the culture of a prison or jail is hard. Michele comments on how long culture shifts can take, even for agency leaders that are determined to make reforms.