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


Media MentionAugust 5, 2019
3 Texas teens charged after 19-minute beat-down caught on camera in Waco-area juvenile prison

LBJ Professor Michele Deitch is quoted in the Houston Chronicle on youth violence in a juvenile prison in Texas. 

Read More
Media MentionJuly 28, 2019
Why a Dallas judge made the rare decision to have a 16-year-old tried as an adult in rape, murder case

The decision to order 16-year-old Lenario Washington, who police say committed several rapes and a murder, as an adult was unusual, made because the judge said the "public was in need of protection." The juvenile justice system typically focuses on trying to rehabilitate accused offenders under 18. LBJ School Senior Lecturer Michele Deitch, a criminal justice expert, weighs in. 

Read More
NewsJuly 23, 2019
LBJ's Michele Deitch named to Texas Task Force on Dual Status Youth

As a criminal justice expert, Michele Deitch, a senior lecturer at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and The University of Texas School of Law, is an invaluable resource to the state of Texas on a number of social and juvenile justice issues. The CHASP Fellow now been asked to serve on the Texas Supreme Court's Children's Commission Task Force on Dual Status Youth. The statewide task force is comprised of judges, practitioners and experts on juvenile justice focused on the needs of youth who are in both the juvenile justice system and the child welfare system. 

Read More