12 News

Hospitalizations and HVAC repairs: The cost of extreme heat in Arizona’s women’s prison

Jan. 26, 2024
“'It's unfortunately becoming commonplace in a lot of particularly southern states and Texas where I live,' said Michele Deitch, who leads the Prison and Jail Innovation Lab at the University of Texas at Austin. 'I'm not surprised by it. But I'm still horrified that anybody should be asked to live in those kinds of conditions.'”

People Say They Languish in Texas Prisons’ ‘Mental Health’ Unit

Aug. 22, 2022
Alycia Welch is quoted in this article on the state of mental health in Texas prisons. She addresses the role of staffing issues in TDCJ's unsafe working and living conditions. PJIL's publication on COVID-related staff deaths, Canary in the Coal Mine, is also featured in the article.
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New details emerge on death of man held in Dauphin County Prison

Aug. 9, 2022
This investigative story about an in-custody death highlights the use of force on people with mental health problems. PJIL's Michele criticizes the use of jails as de facto mental health facilities and highlights how they can exacerbate these issues.
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State review shows Mecklenburg jail continues to miss many safety checks

Aug. 8, 2022
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.
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Marlin, Gatesville prisons without complete air conditioning pose danger to inmates, staff

Aug. 5, 2022
PJIL is featured in a news story on the lack of air conditioning in Texas prisons. Michele highlights the risk of heat-related illnesses for both the incarcerated as well as the employees.
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Sheriff: Linn County Jail deaths unpreventable

July 24, 2022
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.
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Families shocked by learning of inmates’ death in Linn jail

July 24, 2022
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.
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The path to prison is often paved by illiteracy. Yet many prisoners aren't being taught to read.

July 18, 2022
PJIL's Michele discusses the impact that correctional education programs like prison literacy efforts can have on recidivism.
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Some mentally ill Dallas inmates are waiting two years to get into state hospitals

July 10, 2022
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.
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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.