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

NewsApril 2, 2021
April 2: Faculty Research, Policy Engagement and News

10 features from the week 

  • Patrick Bixler spoke to the Associated Press about philanthropic gifts and scientific discovery after former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and his wife, Wendy, gave $150 million to the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for research in biology and AI. 

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Media MentionApril 2, 2021
Report gives Maine poor rating for COVID data transparency in prisons, jails, juvenile facilities

A report, released in March and written by Michele Deitch and William Bucknall of the University of Texas Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, 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.

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NewsMarch 29, 2021
Most states fail to track critical COVID-19 data for prisons, jails and juvenile facilities

There is a troubling lack of transparency about data regarding the spread, toll and management of COVID-19 in state prisons, local jails and state-run juvenile facilities, according to a new report from researchers at The University of Texas at Austin.

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