Logo of ProPublica, white text on blue backgound with a white magnifying glass.

Shackles and Solitary: Inside Louisiana’s Harshest Juvenile Lockup

March 10, 2022
Michele is interviewed on juvenile systems around the country manage their most challenging youth. “They’re just throwing up their hands and saying: ‘We’ve exhausted our options. We just don’t know what to do," Michele comments.
Canary in the Coal Mine title over a large TDCJ badge superimposed over a set of prison bars, with a disposable face mask hanging off one of the bars.

Canary in the Coal Mine: A Profile of Staff COVID Deaths in the Texas Prison System

Feb. 22, 2022
This report reveals the devastating impact of the COVID pandemic on prison workers in Texas. We found that Texas has some of the worst COVID outcomes among prison staff in the country, even when controlling for size. What's more, in Jan 2021, the Texas prison agency stopped reporting deaths from COVID among people who are incarcerated, making it difficult to assess the true toll of the virus behind bars. The report suggests that deaths and infections among staff may be a proverbial “canary in the coal mine,” warning that the true impact of COVID in Texas prisons has yet to be fully revealed.
Boston Globe logo.

Correction Department cries out for oversight

Dec. 1, 2021
The Editorial Board discusses the need for correctional oversight, and quotes Michele on the increasing momentum across the country supporting the establishment of external correctional oversight bodies.
Image of solitary watch logo.

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.
Logo for Brennan Center for Justice. Black and red text on white background.

Independent Oversight Is Essential for a Safe and Healthy Prison System

Nov. 3, 2021
Published as part of the Brennan Center for Justice’s series on punitive excess, Michele identifies independent correctional oversight as a critical but often overlooked tool that provides a window into one of our most opaque public institutions, one that denies elected officials the option of remaining purposefully ignorant about correctional conditions.
Image of Pew trust's logo.

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.
Image of the Marshall Project's logo.

A Half-Million People Got COVID-19 in Prison. Are Officials Ready for the Next Pandemic?

June 30, 2021
“There’s a sense that COVID is over, that the pandemic is behind us, and that is just not the case,” Deitch said. “We have to remember that prisons and jails were hit so much harder than the outside communities were, and in many jurisdictions, they were late to provide vaccinations to incarcerated people.”
Dead man waiting cover. Blue font on white background.

Dead Man Waiting: A brief profile of deaths in Texas prisons among people approved for parole release

June 1, 2021
In a first-of-its-kind analysis, “Dead Man Waiting,” shows that while deaths among parole-approved people increased during the COVID period, this population was already dying in large numbers from other chronic health issues while awaiting release. The report was the subject of a full-length NBC News NOW story, featuring families of people who died after parole approval, as well as several other prominent news outlets.
Logo of Imprint News. Black and sage green text on white background.

As Pandemic Raged, COVID-19 Testing Was Rare In New York’s Youth Lockups

April 4, 2021
New York has not followed that recommendation, prompting University of Texas at Austin researchers to list the state among seven others that have done the least to shed light on COVID-19 inside facilities. Secrecy during the pandemic, they warned in their new “Hidden Figures” report, makes it “difficult to determine if juvenile corrections agencies are responding to the complex and unique needs of incarcerated youth.”
Logo of the Maine Beacon. Black text over orange background. Features a black icon of a lighthouse.

Report gives Maine poor rating for COVID data transparency in prisons, jails, juvenile facilities

April 1, 2021
An investigation using data from Hidden Figures which gave Maine a D-minus grade for the transparency of its COVID-19 data in the state prison system, a D for data transparency in juvenile facilities and an F for transparency in the jail system.