Research Seminar in Sociology of Law with Cristina Vasilescu
The Sociology of Law Department arranges a series of research seminars inviting local and international social scientists to present state-of-the-art research within various areas of law and society.
Women offenders and alternative sentences to imprisonment: community sentences in Spain
The percentage of women serving prison sentences in Spain is similar to the percentage of women serving community sentences, ranging from 7% to 10%. However, research on women offenders has focused mainly on the experiences of women prisoners. Among other issues, the extensive literature on the subject in Spanish jurisdiction points to the discrimination they face in a prison system that has historically been androcentric. Furthermore, it concludes that, given their criminal and personal characteristics, greater use should be made of community sentences for a large number of women, on the assumption that these would be more appropriate. However, we know little about women's experiences serving community sentences, their needs and the most effective approaches to supervision, support and treatment.
Vasilescu's research over the last few years therefore focuses on women offenders who have served a community sentence in Catalonia (Spain). It analyses the Probation System from a gender perspective, using statistical data and in-depth interviews, focusing on the experiences of women who have served sentences and the professionals who supervise them.
The findings show how the Probation System, like the Prison System, presents challenges for the female user population, as sentences were generally designed with the needs and characteristics of the majority population, which is male. This research also shows that there are significant gender differences that the Probation System should take into account to achieve an implementation of community sentences from a gender-responsive approach.
Cristina Vasilescu holds a PhD in Criminology from the University of Girona, where she did her doctoral thesis on alternative penal measures to prison from a gender perspective.
She has published several articles on female penal execution, justice and gender perspective, alternative punitive measures and sex work. She was a visiting researcher at the University of Cambridge in the Institute of Criminology in 2020. She has also taught the Degree in Criminology and Law at the University of Girona, the Degree in Criminology at the UOC, the Degree in Sociocultural and Gender Studies at the UAB and the Police School of the Generalitat de Catalunya (Institute of Public Security of Catalonia).
She has been a postdoctoral researcher in the Antigona Research Group on Rights and Society with a Gender Perspective at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, has published her first book "Mujeres y penas alternativas a la prisión: una mirada con perspectiva de género" and is currently participating in different projects on male violence in the digital sphere with the same group.