Deitch, Michelle | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin
Education
  • J.D., Harvard Law School
  • M.Sc. in Psychology, Oxford University
  • B.A., Amherst College
Research Areas
  • Correctional oversight and prison and jail conditions
  • Juveniles in the adult criminal justice system
  • Management of youth in custody
Teaching Areas
  • Social Policy

Michele Deitch holds a joint appointment as a distinguished senior lecturer at the LBJ School and the Law School, and is an attorney with over 30 years of experience working on criminal justice and juvenile justice policy issues with state and local government officials, corrections administrators, judges and advocates. She specializes in independent oversight of correctional institutions, prison and jail conditions, managing youth in custody and juveniles in the adult criminal justice system. Deitch co-chairs the American Bar Association's Subcommittee on Correctional Oversight, and helped draft the ABA's Standards on the Treatment of Prisoners. Her numerous articles about correctional oversight include a 50-state inventory of prison oversight models and many reports on juvenile justice that have received national attention. Her TEDx talk, "Why are we trying kids as adults?" was named a TEDx Editor's Pick in January 2015.

Deitch brings criminal justice policy issues to a broader audience through her frequent commentary in national and local media, and has significantly impacted public policy through legislative testimony and work with key legislators, including on Texas's Sandra Bland Act. She also chaired the Travis County (Texas) Sheriff’s Advisory Committee on the Women's Jail, which proposed a reimagined, gender-responsive facility for women.

Prior to entering academia, Deitch served as a federal court-appointed monitor of conditions in the Texas prison system, policy director of Texas's sentencing commission, general counsel to the Texas Senate Criminal Justice Committee, and consultant to justice system agencies around the country.

She has won numerous teaching awards, including being named to the 2019 Texas 10 list of the most inspiring professors at The University of Texas at Austin. She has been a Soros Senior Justice Fellow, and is the recipient of the 2019 NACOLE Flame Award for significant contributions to correctional oversight.

Courses Taught
Media Expertise
  • Children
  • Judiciary
  • Crime & Criminal Justice

Newsworthy

FeatureDecember 8, 2020
Correcting Corrections: Lessons for Prisons and Jails in a Post-COVID World
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NewsDecember 8, 2020
LBJ School policy leaders craft solutions for a resilient future

Twenty-nine LBJ School authors have come together to craft interdisciplinary and resilience-based policy solutions, published in one toolkit called Resiliency in the Age of COVID-19. This toolkit comes as researchers from across The University of Texas at Austin continue to offer first-of-its-kind groundbreaking research and discovery in the fight against COVID and its long-lasting impacts on public health, business and the future of governance.

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Media MentionNovember 15, 2020
At least 231 people in Texas jails and prisons have died from COVID-19, study finds

At least 231 people in Texas prisons and jails have died from COVID-19, including 27 staff members, 14 people in jail and 190 people in prison, according to a new report from researchers at the University of Texas at Austin.

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