Curriculum Vitae em. prof. dr. J. Goethals J. Goethals
Curriculum Vitae em. prof. dr. J. Goethals
J. Goethals (°1947) was full professor at the Leuven Institute of Criminology (LINC) of the
University of Leuven, Belgium. He graduated in psychology in 1971 and in criminology in
1974 at the same university. In 1979 he received his PhD in criminology. He retired as a full
professor in 2010.
In 1971 he started his research career as a psychologist in a multidisciplinary prison research
team, his doctoral dissertation about the psychological consequences of imprisonment in 1979
being an exponent of this. In 1980 he was appointed as a teaching assistant, and later on as a
lecturer, professor and full professor in the law faculty, teaching introductory courses in
criminology, criminological psychology, penology, and research classes. He also taught for
several years at the police academies in Bruges and Ghent (training of police officers), and in
an academic programme on forensic psychology and psychiatry jointly organised by the
universities of Leuven, Ghent, Antwerp and Brussels. Retired in 2010 he continued to teach
criminological psychology at the Law faculty till 2012, and a course on ‘Crime as a social
problem’ at the Faculty of Social Sciences till 2013.
Next to his teaching he functioned as an expert in the parliamentary enquiry commission on
dangerous sectarian organisations, and in other task groups and advisory commissions on
prisons and mentally ill offenders within the Belgian Ministry of Justice. He was a member of
the Centre of Information and Advice on sectarian organisations (IACCSO) at the Ministry of
Justice in Belgium. In 2009 he was a member of the evaluation commission of the Scientific
Research and Documentation Centre (Wetenschappelijk Onderzoeks- en
Documentatiecentrum) of the Ministry of Justice in Den Hague, The Netherlands. He is still a
member of the editorial board of Panopticon, a Belgian revue on criminology, forensic social
work and penal law.
He carried out 32 research projects, authored and edited 9 resp. 13 books, and published about
150 articles in scientific books and journals. The most important areas of research include:
1. Penology: the effects of imprisonment, (the prediction of) recidivism, (Belgian) prison
policy (e.g. an evaluation of the supply of social aid and mental health programmes in
prisons), desistance, and community sanctions.
Examples of publications
Goethals, J. (1981). Imprisonment and cognitive impairment. Journal of Clinical Psychology,
Goethals, J. (1980). Actualités bibliographiques: les effets psychosociaux des longues peines
d’emprisonnement. Déviance et Société, 4(1), 81-102.
Goethals, J. (1985). Psychosociale effecten van de lange vrijheidsstraffen (Psychosocial
effects of long term imprisonment). Tijdschrift voor Klinische Psychologie (Journal of
Clinical Psychology), 15, 189-211.
2. Mentally ill offenders: the history of the Belgian act on mentally offenders, actual policy
developments in Belgium, and the problems of intellectually impaired offenders.
Goethals, J. (1991). Abnormaal en delinkwent. De geschiedenis en het actueel functioneren
van de wet tot bescherming van de maatschappij (Abnormal and delinquent. History and
actual functioning of the Interment Act). Antwerp: Kluwer.
Goethals, J., Maes. B. & Verlinden, S. (2009). Personen met een verstandelijke handicap
onderhevig aan een interneringsmaatregel (Delinquents with cognitive impairment under the
Interment Act). Leuven/Brussels: VAPH (Flemish Ministry of Welfare, Public Health and
3. Decision making on different levels of the criminal justice system: by the public
prosecution office (prosecution of sexual offenders, of family violence, of stalking…), and by
parole commissions and courts.
Some publications :
LECOMPTE, E., CUMPS, N., GOETHALS, J., HUTSEBAUT, F., HIRSCH, M. &
MESSINE, J., (1998), La politique judiciaire en matière de violence sexuelle. Brussels: ULBKULeuven,
VAN BEEK, G., CUMPS, N., GOETHALS, J., HUTSEBAUT, F. & HIRSCH, M. (2001).
Brussels : ULB-KULeuven. Politique judiciaire en matière de violences sexuelles et de
violences au sein du couple.
MAES, E., GOETHALS, J. en KLINCKHAMERS, P. (1997). Sex/gender based decisionmaking in the criminal justice system as a possible (additional) explanation for the
underrepresentation of women in official criminal statistics. A review of the international
literature. International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, 21(2), 207240.
VANDERHALLEN, M., VERVAEKE, G., VAN KOPPEN, J. & GOETHALS, J. (eds.)
(2003). Much ado about crime. Chapters on psychology and law. Brussels: Politeia
4. The measurement of objective and subjective insecurity (fear of crime), and the
measurement of the attitudes of the population towards the criminal justice system:
measurement of fear of crime by qualitative and quantitative approaches, and the development
of instruments to measure (a) criminal victimisation and the attitudes towards the police, and
(b) the attitudes of the population towards the courts.
GOETHALS, J., DE BOYE, A. & FIJNAUT, C. (1997) Criminaliteit en
onveiligheidsgevoelens in de Limburgse ex-mijngemeenten (Crime and feelings of insecurity
in the Limburg mining area). Leuven: Leuven University Press.
PARMENTIER, S. VERVAEKE, G., GOETHALS, J., et .al. (2004). Une radiographie de
la justice. Les résultats du premier ‘baromètre de la justice’ en Belgique. Gent : Academia
PLEYSIER, S., PAUWELS, L., VERVAEKE, G. & GOETHALS, J. (2006). Temporal
invariance in repeated cross-sectional ‘fear of crime research’. International Review of
Victimology, 12, 273-292.
PLEYSIER, S., VERVAEKE, G., & GOETHALS, J. (2004). Cross-cultural invariance and
gender bias when measuring ‘fear of crime’. International Review of Victimology, 10, 245260.
5. Sexual delinquency: the relationship between personality disorders and sexual crime, and
the Belgian policy with regard to sexual delinquency.
BOGAERTS, S., VERVAEKE, G. & GOETHALS, J., (2004). A comparison of relational
attitude and personality disorders in the explanation of child molestation. Sexual Abuse. A
Journal of Research and Treatment, 16, 37-48.
BOGAERTS, S., VERVAEKE, G. & GOETHALS, J. (2000). Research on predictors for
sexual delinquency. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, 8, 503-515.
6. Recrutement and selection of police officers
SCHREURS, B., VERVAEKE, G., VANDERSTEENE, G. & GOETHALS, J. (1999). Testen
voor werving en selectie (Psychological tests in recruiting and selecting police officers).
Brussels: Belgian Ministry of the Interior.
7. Other projects studied the link between police and social work:
GOETHALS, J., VAN DAEL, E. & VAN CAMP, T. (2005). L’harmonisation entre la police
et les services d’aide n’est pas problématique, le manque d’information bien. Le journal de la
police. L’Officier de police, 6, 20-26.
the labour market for criminologists in Belgium,
GOETHALS, J. (2007). The criminological profession: the development of a job market for
criminologists in (Flanders) Belgium. International Annals of Criminology, 45(1/2), 19-36.