Universiteit Leiden

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Hilde Wermink

Associate professor

Dr. H.T. Wermink
+31 71 527 7417

Hilde Wermink is Associate Professor of Criminology at the Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology at Leiden University. She is also the PhD dean of Leiden Law School.

More information about Hilde Wermink

Hilde Wermink is Associate Professor of Criminology at the Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology at Leiden University. She is also the dean of the PhD students.

She graduated with bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a master's degree in Sociology and Social Research from Utrecht University. After her study she worked at the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR). In 2013 she defended her doctoral thesis On the determinants and consequences of sentencing, supervision: Professor P. Nieuwbeerta, Professor J.W. de Keijser and Professor P.M. Schuyt. 

She visited the Criminology and Criminal Justice Department at Maryland University twice during her PhD studies. In 2016, she was a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Sociology Department for a period of six months.


In her research, Hilde studies punishment decisions in the sentencing process both at the final and pre-trial sentencing stage. Part of her research focuses on how various actors in the sentencing process use their discretionary freedom by investigating the influence of offender characteristics (e.g. ethnicity), criminal history and case characteristics on sentencing decisions. In doing so she aims to provide insights into the (in)equality and legitimacy of sentencing. For a broader understanding of legitimacy she also studies whether the broad discretionary powers are used effectively by focusing on the (un)intended consequences of punishment decisions. Do more severe sanctions indeed reduce recidivism? And are there effective alternatives for imprisonment? By using various quantitative methods she systematically studies these interconnected facets of the criminal justice system, and her research in this field has been published nationally and internationally. She received funding for her research from the Council of the Judiciary, the Research and Documentation Centre and Leiden University Fund, and in 2017 she was awarded a VENI grant for her work on understanding effects of imprisonment on the further life-course. In 2023 she received a collaborative NWA-ORC grant for the project 'In search of trust (IST): Towards effective interventions to monitor and reduce ethno-racial and socio-economic sanctioning disparities', and a collaborative Lorentz grant to organize the four-day workshop: ‘Criminal Justice Settings, Crime, and Reintegration’ for (inter)national scholars and stakeholders. Hilde is (or has been) involved as a supervisor with several PhD students.

Her research is embedded in the research programme of Leiden University Criminal Justice: Legitimacy, Accountability, and Effectivity. She is also working on a large-scale research project on the intended and unintended consequences of imprisonment: the Prison Project, and currently collaborates with national and international scholars on various research projects (nationality and sentencing, and the effectiveness of punishment on the further life course of the prisoners).


Hilde coordinates courses at the undergraduate level such as Academic Skills for Criminologists, and she supervises the theses of bachelor’s and master’s students. She is also the coordinator of the master programmes of criminology.

Associate professor

  • Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid
  • Instituut voor Strafrecht & Criminologie
  • Criminologie

Work address

Kamerlingh Onnes Building
Steenschuur 25
2311 ES Leiden
Room number B 3.30



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