Universiteit Leiden

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Joni Reef

Assistant Professor

Dr. J. Reef
+31 71 527 8596

Joni Reef is Assistant Professor of Criminology and a Research Fellow at the Department of Criminology, Leiden University.

More information about Joni Reef

Joni Reef has been working at Leiden Law Schoool since 2010 and is active in various research projects focusing on parents in prison, the unintended effects of parental incarceration on their children and a family approach in the criminal justice system. She has taught a number of courses in the Criminology and Law curriculum, is a Leiden Teachers’ Academy Fellow and has held various managerial positions. With ancillary activities for the Ministry of Justice and Security and in multidisciplinary family approach teams, she aims to use her scientific expertise for the benefit of detainees.

She was previously affiliated to Maastricht University (where she received her MSc), Utrecht University and Erasmus University - Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (where she received her PhD on Adult Consequences of Child Psychopathology).


Her research interests lie in socially relevant issues related the unintended consequences of detention in multiple generations, the role of fatherhood in judicial frameworks, or in short: parents and children in the criminal justice system. Her research is embedded in the research programme Criminal Justice: Legitimacy, Accountability and Effectivity.

As a senior investigator, Reef publishes nationally and internationally and is part of several national and international working groups that focus on parent-child relationships of prisoners, a family approach in the criminal justice system and fatherhood in prison. For example in the award-winning national Prison Project, she performed longitudinal research on a large group of fathers in prison, and for Police and Science, she investigated the safeguarding of children of arrested parents. Her research group, consisting of several PhD-students, postdocs and senior researchers, is concerned with studying the intentional and unintentional consequences of imprisonment. This research is an important part of the researchprogramme Criminal Justice: Legitimacy, Accountability and Effectivity of the Institute for Criminal Law & Criminology of Leiden University. In 2018, together with Professor Pauline Schuyt, she founded the Dutch Parent and Child in Criminal Justice Working Group (Landelijke Werkgroep Ouder en Kind in de Strafrechtketen). 


Joni Reef teaches and coordinates several courses in Criminology (Bachelor and Master), Forensic Psychiatry, Development of Criminal Behaviour, Leiden Leadership Programmes, Honours College Law and has been active in several educational committees since 2010. In 2018 she was elected to become a Teaching Fellow at the Leiden Teachers’ Academy (LTA).

Assistant Professor

  • Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid
  • Instituut voor Strafrecht & Criminologie
  • Criminologie

Work address

Kamerlingh Onnes Building
Steenschuur 25
2311 ES Leiden
Room number B3.12



  • European Society of Criminology Member Workinggroup 'Prison Life & Effects of Imprisonment'
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