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Kristel Beyens

Prof. Dr. Kristel Beyens

Department of Criminology


Education: Licentiate in Sociology, Licentiate in Criminology, PhD in Criminology

Research themes: prisons, criminal justice, criminal justice courts, community punishments, liberation, punishment, criminology, penology, etc.

Kristel Beyens is full Professor of Criminology and Penology at the VUB. She is head of Department of Criminology and director of the Research Group Crime & Society (CRiS). Within CRiS she coordinates the research line on Penality & Society, bringing together penological research on prisons, immigration detention centres, 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, conditional release, recall and community punishment. Currently her research focuses on food in prison, the digitalisation of prisons, electronic monitoring, and immigration detention. She has well established links with several international networks that study community punishment and imprisonment from an international comparative perspective. 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.


Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussels