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Research Line: Penality and Society


This research line studies penal decision-making and practices from a criminological, sociological and socio-legal approach. It focuses on penal actors, institutions, cultures and social practices, in interaction with political and social developments in late modernity.  

For example, our prison research focuses in particular on prison overcrowding, prisoner’s rights, prison staff, elderly prisoners, vulnerable groups in prison and prison food, and compares prisons with other situations of extreme dependency. We also study community punishment, with a special interest in electronic monitoring, conditional release and breach . Recently, our penology research has focused on migration detention and the expulsion of irregular migrants. These topics are studied from a national and international comparative perspective.



Kristel Beyens

An-Sofie Vanhouche