Education
  • 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

Newsworthy

NewsMay 8, 2012
LBJ School Releases Report on Conditions for Certified Juveniles in Texas County Jails

LBJ School Senior Lecturer Michele Deitch has released a new report titled “Conditions for Certified Juveniles in Texas County Jails,” the second in her series on juveniles in the adult criminal justice system in Texas.

This report provides a comprehensive picture of the conditions for certified juveniles awaiting trial in adult county jails based on a survey of 41 jails across the state of Texas. Deitch worked with the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, a state agency responsible for oversight of county jails, to collect and analyze the data.

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NewsJuly 25, 2012
Comments on the Supreme Court’s Ruling in Miller v. Alabama

The Supreme Court’s welcome decision in Miller v. Alabama, the case dealing with juvenile life without parole, was no surprise to anyone who has been following the Court’s jurisprudence in recent years. Miller is the latest in a line of cases that have ruled, essentially, that children are different from adults and that the criminal justice system must take account of these differences.

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NewsJuly 28, 2012
LBJ School Faculty Explore Policy Implications of Landmark Supreme Court Rulings

LBJ School faculty members delve into the greater ramifications of the recent Supreme Court rulings on the Affordable Health Care Act, immigration and mandatory life sentences for juvenile offenders. For state lawmakers and policymakers, the rulings mark just the beginning of what, in some cases, represent major, sweeping changes to state laws and policies.

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