Prof Laura Piacentini
Associate Director, SCCJR
Professor of Criminology
University of Strathclyde
Laura is Professor of Criminology at the University of Strathclyde. She is a punishment and society scholar and whilst her research is rooted in sociology, it is shaped around the disciplines of criminology, human geography, Russian Area Studies, history, human rights and political science. She has been researching and publishing in the area of contemporary Russian imprisonment for nearly twenty years, having lived and conducted research in numerous prisons.
Laura has been advisor to the United Nations on forced labour in prisons (2004 and 2005), an advisor to campaigning groups representing Russian political prisoners and asylum seekers (2009, 2010) and has been an advisor to the Scottish Parliament on rehabilitation in prisons (2004 and 2005). She has given papers at diverse universities including the Universities of Harvard (2005 and 2006), The Higher Education Institute of Smolensk (1999) and Moscow State University (2003).
Her first book, Surviving Russian Prisons: Punishment, Politics and Economy in Transition won the British Society of Criminology Book of the Year award in 2005. Her second book (co-authored with Professor Judith Pallot (Oxford) titled Gender, Geography and Punishment: the Experience of Women in Carceral Russia, won the Heldt Prize for book of the year at the American Association of Slavonic Studies and was nominated for the Book of the Year 2013 by Pushkin House London and the Davis Centre at Harvard University.