Research Projects

News & Events

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.

Current Projects:
Laura is completing a new book from her Leverhulme Fellowship (2015-2017): “Towards a Sociology of Rights Consciousness in Russian Prisons”.
Laura is PI on a major new ESRC study (2018-2021): “In the Gulag’s Shadow: Producing, Consuming and Perceiving Prisons in the Former Soviet Union” with Dr Gavin Slade (Lead Co-I) University of Nazarbayev, Astana, Kazakhstan and Professor Elena Olmenchenko, Professor of Sociology at the Higher School of Economic, St Petersburg.
Laura is Co-I on a new AHRC/MRC study (2018-2020): “The Right Health in Prison”. The project compares Scottish and Brazilian health care provision in prisons. It is led by Professor Sally Haw, Stirling University.



University of Strathclyde


The School of Social Work and Social Policy
University of Strathclyde
Lord Hope Building
St James Road

February 2018

Employment and Employability in Scottish Prisons: A Research Briefing Paper, Feb 2018

Laura Piacentini, Beth Weaver and Cara Jardine, SCCJR School of Social Work & Social Policy, University of Strathclyde This research […]


Evaluation of the Airdrie Sheriff Youth Court Pilot

A pilot Youth Court was introduced at Airdrie Sheriff Court in June 2004. Its objectives are to: reduce the frequency […]


Evaluation of the Airdrie and Hamilton Youth Court Pilots

Pilot Youth Courts were introduced at Hamilton Sheriff Court in June 2003 and at Airdrie Sheriff Court in June 2004. […]

21st June 2018

The Scottish Prisons Commission: Ten Years On

In July 2008 The Scottish Prisons Commission (also known as the McLeish Commission) published its report Scotland’s Choice. This report […]

23rd August 2021

University of Strathclyde to launch new MSc in Criminology & Social Policy in 2022


19th May 2020

Living Under Covid-19