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 UT 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 MentionFebruary 4, 2018
Court sides with Texas prisoner in suit alleging 'deliberate indifference' led to heart attack

A federal appeals court this week sided with an inmate representing himself in a lawsuit alleging Texas prison staff failed to treat him when he had a stroke, then continued showing "deliberate indifference" that he says contributed to a heart attack two weeks later.

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Media MentionJanuary 22, 2018
In bid to boost safety, juvenile justice agency reviewing violent youth for possible transfer

Staff at the scandal-plagued Texas Juvenile Justice Department have been asked to review a few dozen violent inmates for possible transfer to adult prisons, a move that has sparked concern among activists and advocates.

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Media MentionJune 19, 2017
Forced to Endure Extreme Heat, Prisoners Are Casualties of Texas' Climate Denial, Documents Show

At least 22 prisoners have died in Texas prisons due to extreme heat. Criminal justice expert and LBJ Professor Michele Deitch discusses. 

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