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Kristel Beyens

Professor, Criminology
+32 2 629 13 91



Kristel Beyens is full Professor of Criminology and Penology and director of the Research Group Crime & Society (CRiS). Within CRiS she coordinates the research line Penality & Society. Kristel’s research focuses on contemporary evolutions in punishment, with special attention for penal decision-making and the implementation of prison sentences and community punishment from a cultural, organizational and social approach.
She has published on prison overcrowding and penal policies, prison privatization, penal decision-making in sentencing and sentence implementation, conditional release, the work penalty, electronic monitoring and the transport of Belgian prisoners to a Dutch prison.
Currently she also conducts and supervises research on food in prison, the monitoring officer as new penal agent, digital prisons, forced removal practices in immigration detention centres and recall to prisons. Her research starts from a constructionist approach, and she is particularly interested in the interplay between broader social – political developments and penal practices and decision-making in their organisational – cultural context.
She is involved in several international networks, studying community punishment and imprisonment from an international comparative perspective.

Current teaching:
Criminaliteit en Maatschappij (Crime and Society); Penologie en Penitentiair Recht (Penology and Penitentiary Law); Stage Criminologie (Internship in Criminology); Profiel Penologie (Profile Penology)

Previous education:
Master in Sociology; Master in Criminology; Doctor in Criminology




Room 4B337
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussels