Deitch, Michelle | 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 written 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


NewsMarch 4, 2019
LBJ School Roundup at the Texas Legislature 2019

The 86th Texas Legislature runs from Jan. 8 to May 27. While lawmakers, including LBJ School alumni, debate bills and bring policy to life, our students and faculty are working both behind the scenes and in front of the camera at the State Capitol. These LBJ School students, professors and researchers are delivering public testimony, informing politicians, reporting with the media and even interning in senators’ and representatives’ offices.

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Media MentionDecember 20, 2018
Travis County Sheriff Still Pushing for New Women's Jail

An advisory committee for the Travis County Sheriff, led by LBJ Professor Michele Deitch, published a new report envisioning what a model female jail looks like. Deitch argues that women are faced with particular challenges. “[Female inmates are] charged with lower level crimes, they also are overwhelmingly mothers, almost 80 percent of them are mothers, primarily single mothers responsible for the care of young children," Deitch said. "Ninety percent of them come in with very serious histories of trauma in their lives."

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NewsNovember 30, 2018
LBJ’s Michele Deitch joins the U.S. Supreme Court Bar

The Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States welcomed Michele Deitch, an award-winning teacher and senior lecturer at the LBJ School and The University of Texas School of Law, into its ranks on Nov. 6.

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