Criminal Justice

Why more women are dying in jails

July 15, 2021
Michele Deitch said jails and prisons can work to be more responsive to women inside while public officials address systemic challenges women face in society overall that lead to incarceration.

Almost 150 guards are staffing an empty Texas prison as state officials work on Gov. Greg Abbott's plan to use it for immigrants

July 8, 2021
While many Texas prisons are understaffed, some dangerously so, the emptied-out Briscoe Unit in Dilley is in "maintenance mode" as officials scramble to implement the governor's plan to increase th

18 died of COVID-19 in Texas prisons after winning parole: report

June 18, 2021
A new study found that there's a fatal delay built into the Texas prison system.

68 people approved for parole died in Texas prisons over the last two years while awaiting release. COVID-19 accounts for only a fraction of these deaths.

June 17, 2021
A troubling number of people in Texas prisons and jails who have been approved for release on parole are dying in custody before they ever step foot outside prison gates, according to a new report

'Welcoming committee': Leaked video shows officers beating handcuffed Florida prisoner

May 27, 2021
Michele Deitch's research on the need for independent oversight of prisons and jails was cited in the Miami Herald.

Dead Man Waiting: A brief profile of deaths in Texas prisons among people approved for parole release

A troubling number of people in Texas prisons and jails who have been approved for release on parole are dying in custody before they ever step foot outside prison gates, according to a new report from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. In a first-of-its-kind analysis, "Dead Man Waiting," shows that while deaths among parole-approved people increased during the COVID period, this population was already dying in large numbers from other chronic health issues while awaiting release. The findings in this report raise serious questions about the state's parole system and why people who met the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP)'s stringent approval guidelines could end up dead before their release. Researchers offer recommendations for safely releasing this population immediately after parole approval. This report was produced as part of the COVID, Corrections, and Oversight Project at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, with support from Arnold Ventures. The COVID, Corrections, and Oversight Project is led by Michele Deitch, Project Director, and Alycia Welch, Associate Director.
Research Topic
Criminal Justice

Millennials commit less crime than previous generations, UT research suggests

May 10, 2021
NBC Austin reports on new LBJ School study: Millennials commit less crime than previous generations

The Pandemic Gender Gap Behind Bars: Meeting the Needs of Women in Custody During COVID-19 and Planning for the Future

The Pandemic Gender Gap Behind Bars by Alycia Welch, Michele Deitch
This report examines the distinct harms that women in custody experience during incarceration and highlights the ways in which correctional agencies' COVID-19 restrictions have been exacerbating those harms. Even before the pandemic, women were overlooked in correctional facilities that were not designed for them and that are not administered with them in mind. The vast majority of incarcerated women have experienced trauma, have unaddressed behavioral and physical health challenges, are single mothers, and are from low-income communities of color. These factors make them especially vulnerable to the impact of measures implemented by prisons and jails to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, such as suspension of visitation and programming, restrictions on volunteers entering the facility, lockdowns, and the use of medical isolation. Drawing on research about best practices for working with incarcerated women, the report recommends a set of gender-responsive approaches to COVID precautions in corrections facilities that would simultaneously strengthen public health and improve outcomes for women, their families, and communities.
Research Topic
Criminal Justice

Report gives Maine poor rating for COVID data transparency in prisons, jails, juvenile facilities

April 2, 2021
A report, released in March and written by Michele Deitch and William Bucknall of the University of Texas Lyndon B.

Most states fail to track critical COVID-19 data for prisons, jails and juvenile facilities

March 29, 2021
There is a troubling lack of transparency about data regarding the spread, toll and management of COVID-19 in state prisons, local jails and state-run juvenile facilities, according to a
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