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Sonja Snacken

+32(0)2 629 2644


Sonja Snacken is Professor of Criminology, Penology and Sociology of Law in the Department of Criminology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB. Her research focuses on (comparative) penality and different forms of (extreme) institutional dependency. She has been involved in over 40 (inter)national research projects, with a special emphasis on the integration of empirical social science with human rights approaches. She was Research Fellow at the Straus Institute for the Advanced Study of Law and Justice, New York University School of Law (2010-2011) and has been Collaborateur-membre of the Centre International de Criminologie Comparée, Université de Montréal (since 2010). She was awarded the Belgian Francqui Chair at the Université Catholique de Louvain (2008-2009), the Ernest-John Solvay Prize for Scientific Excellence in the Human and Social Sciences by the National Science Foundation (FWO, 2010), and in 2015 she was presented with the European Criminology Award by the European Society of Criminology.


Research Line: Penality and Society

Knowledge Cluster: Empirical Human Rights


Courses taught at the VUB 

Name Code  Link
Penology and Prison Law    
Sociology of law    
Penology (advanced Master course)    









Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussels