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Kristel Beyens is full Professor of Criminology and Penology at the VUB. She is head of Department of Criminology. Within CRiS she coordinates the research line Penality & Society, bringing together penological research on prisons, immigration detention, and community punishment. Kristel studies contemporary evolutions in penality, with special attention to penal decision-making and the implementation of prison sentences and community punishment from a cultural, organizational, and social approach. She has published widely on sentencing, prison overcrowding, transnational prisons, digitalization of prisons, conditional release and recall decision-making and electronic monitoring. Kristel has well established links with several international networks that study community punishment and imprisonment from an international comparative perspective.

She completed a EU funded comparative research project on electronic monitoring (2014-2016) in five European jurisdictions and she was the co-chair of a successful EU funded COST Action on ‘Offender Supervision in Europe’ (2013 -2016), bringing more than 70 international scholars together. Kristel is member of several European networks on community sanctions , penal decision-making and prisons (ESC working groups) She is a member of the think tank ‘The Houses’, which strives for a radical change in prison policy. She gives training to magistrates on the pains of imprisonment and community punishment. Kristel is a regular participant in media debates on penal policies and practices in Belgium.


Research Line: Penality and Society 

Knowledge Cluster: Experiencing Technology 



Name  Link 
Penologie en Penitentiair Recht   More info
Criminaliteit en Samenleving 
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Penologie More info
Stagepraktijk More info
Bachelorproef More info












Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussels