Universiteit Leiden

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Esther van Ginneken

Associate professor

Dr. E.F.J.C. van Ginneken
+31 71 527 2827

Esther van Ginneken is Associate Professor at the Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology at Leiden University.

More information about Esther van Ginneken

Esther van Ginneken is Associate Professor at the Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology at Leiden University. Before joining the Faculty at Leiden University, Esther worked at Liverpool Hope University. She received her PhD (2014) from the University of Cambridge for her thesis entitled “The pains and gains of imprisonment”, which was awarded with the Salje Medal and Nigel Walker Prize.


Esther’s main research focus is imprisonment, including prison conditions, violence in prisons, and wellbeing of incarcerated individuals. She has also carried out research on positive experiences of imprisonment and posttraumatic growth of incarcerated individuals. Another interest is cell sharing and its consequences.

In 2022, Esther was awarded a five-year research grant (Vidi) from the Dutch Research Council (NWO) for a research project on violence in prisons, to investigate why violent incidents occur in prisons and how staff respond. As part of this project, Dante Hoek carries out her PhD research on the circumstances that contribute to prison violence, using virtual reality as an instrument.

Esther also supervises research on normalization in prison, by PhD student Jill van de Rijt; and research on the role of autonomy and cognitive abilities in relation to reward systems in prison by Jan Maarten Elbers.

Esther is principal investigator of a research project (2023-2024) on sexual abuse and safety in women’s prisons in the Netherlands, commissioned by the Dutch Prison Service.


Esther teaches the course Risk Assessment (MSc Forensic Criminology), and supervises students who are writing their master’s thesis.

Associate professor

  • Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid
  • Instituut voor Strafrecht & Criminologie
  • Criminologie

Work address

Kamerlingh Onnes Building
Steenschuur 25
2311 ES Leiden
Room number B 3.24


  • No relevant ancillary activities
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