Deitch, Michele | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin
  • 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 is an attorney with more than 30 years of experience working on criminal justice and juvenile justice policy issues with state and local government officials, corrections administrators, judges and advocates. An award-winning teacher and Soros Senior Justice Fellow, she holds a joint appointment as a senior lecturer at the LBJ School and the School of Law at The University of Texas at Austin. Her areas of specialty include independent oversight of correctional institutions, prison conditions, the management of youths in custody, and juveniles in the adult criminal justice system. She co-chairs the American Bar Association's Subcommittee on Correctional Oversight and helped draft the ABA's Standards on the Treatment of Prisoners. She has authored numerous articles about correctional oversight, including a 50-state inventory of prison oversight models, as well as 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. Prior to entering academia, she served as a federal court-appointed monitor of conditions in the Texas prison system, as the policy director of Texas' sentencing commission, as general counsel to the Texas Senate Criminal Justice Committee and as an independent consultant to justice system agencies across the country.

Media Expertise
  • Children
  • Judiciary
  • Crime & Criminal Justice


Media MentionAugust 1, 2018
State jail standards can't protect employees, prisoners

The number of deaths in Texas County jails is growing, despite newly stiffened statewide standards to protect employees and prisoners. Michele Deitch, senior lecturer at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, told the Palestine Herald-Press she believes safety for staff and prisoners demands experienced, well-trained employees.

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Media MentionApril 23, 2018
Texas man gets 50 years in prison for stealing hundreds of pounds of fajita meat

A former prison official in South Texas was sentenced last week to 50 years in prison for stealing fajitas from the state. Michele Deitch discusses. 

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Media MentionMarch 7, 2018
'Culture of cover-up:' Warden forced to retire from prison where whistleblower says teen inmates abused

LBJ Professor Michele Deitch discusses the dangers of putting teens in adult prisons. 

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