Prison inmate deaths have seen a slight increase, but what is noticeable is the racial divide in how inmates succumb. LBJ Professor Michele Deitch discusses mental health treatment in jails and prisons.
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.