Freya Vander Laenen is senior lecturer at Ghent University, Department of Criminology, Penal law and Social Law. She is a co-director of the multidisciplinary research group ‘Institute for International Research on Criminal Policy’ (IRCP). Her expertise focuses on vulnerable individuals (because of substance use, mental illness, and/or social exclusion) in contact with the criminal justice system. She has acquired many years of experience as a (co-)supervisor in interdisciplinary research on drug policy, offender rehabilitation and recovery. She is also (co-)promotor of several on-going PhD projects. As a promotor, she was part of the Geconcerteerde Onderzoeksactie (GOA) titled “Developing multidisciplinary strengths-based strategies for mentally ill offenders” – an interdisciplinary initiative from the faculties of Law and Criminology, Medicine and Health Sciences, and Psychology and Educational Sciences. Freya Vander Laenen is a member of the interfaculty Ghent University Research Consortium Crime, Criminology and Criminal Policy (IDC CCCP). This consortium facilitates and encourages amongst others research in the area of offending, desistance and recovery. She is a member various international networks, like the European Society of Criminology and the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy.
Selected societal impact activities
- 2014-2019 – Geconcerteerde Onderzoeksactie (GOA) titled “Developing multidisciplinary strengths-based strategies for mentally ill offenders”
- Presentations, (in-house) tailored training and coaching of teams and social service and mental health organisations regarding professional secrecy and ethical dilemmas.
- 2004-present – Public expenditure and social cost of legal and illegal drugs in Belgium
- 13/11/2018 – De Standaard Weekend (news paper) – Interview: “Waarom zijn mijn vrienden dood en ik niet?”
- 05/09/2018 – Radio 1 – Interview: “Luik opent een (illegale) drugsruimte”
- 06/06/2019 – Radio 1 Podcast – “Internering, wat met Kim De Gelder?”
- 2011-2017 – Co-organizer of the national annual multidisciplinary drug conference
- 2019 – Ghent – Powerful narratives–The internment measure in a different light
- 05/07/2018 – Ghent – Pecha Kucha presentation “Iedereen een mening? Over nuance & wetenschap in beladen debatten”, zesde inspiratienamiddag wetenschapscommunicatie
- Drug policy
- Forensic mental health
- Offender rehabilitation and recovery
- Favril, L., Vander Laenen, F., Vandeviver, C., & Audenaert, K. (2017). Suicidal ideation while incarcerated: prevalence and correlates in a large sample of male prisoners in Flanders, Belgium. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 55, 19-28.
- Lievens, D., Vander Laenen, F., Verhaeghe, N., Putman, K., Pauwels, L., Hardyns, W., & Annemans, L. (2017). Economic consequences of legal and illegal drugs: The case of social costs in Belgium. International Journal of Drug Policy, 44, 50-57.
- Vandevelde, S., Vander Laenen, F., Van Damme, L., Vanderplasschen, W., Audenaert, K., Broekaert, E. and Vander Beken, T. (2017). Dilemmas in Applying Strengths-based Approaches in Working with Offenders with Mental Illness : a Critical Multidisciplinary Review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 32, 71–79.