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 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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Media MentionFebruary 5, 2018
Suicide attempts have more than doubled in Texas prisons

The attempted suicide rate recorded inside the Texas prison system has doubled in four years, a trend that some experts call "concerning" and others see as a positive sign the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is getting more serious about tracking mental health issues.

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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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