Tom DecorteTom Decorte

Prof. dr. Tom Decorte Prof. Dr. Tom Decorte (°26/08/1969) obtained a Master's degree in Criminology (Catholic University of Leuven, 1992) and the Qualified Teacher's Degree for Secondary Education (Catholic University of Leuven, 1993). He also studied theatre sciences and obtained the Special Certificate in Social and Cultural Anthropology (Catholic University of Leuven, 1994).
From 1992 to 1998 Tom Decorte was member of the research group Police and Judicial Organization (director: Prof. Dr. Em. Lode Van Outrive), at the Department of Penal Law, Penal Procedure and Criminology at the Catholic University of Leuven. At first he was teaching assistant, and from 1994 to 1995 he was a fulltime research fellow, working on two studies on private policing and fundamental civil rights.
From 1996 to 1998 he worked on an ethnographic study among cocaine users in Antwerp, that would become the basis for his doctoral dissertation in criminology, titled 'Informal control mechanisms among cocaine and crack users in the metropolitan area of Antwerp (Belgium)' (Catholic University of Leuven, 1999). Supervisors were Prof. Dr. Em. Lode van Outrive en Prof. Dr. Joris Casselman. Tom Decorte attended specialized training courses for drug researchers in Zürich (European Addiction Training Institute, 1996) and Aarhus (Nordic Council for Alcohol and Drug Research, 1998).
Since October, 1st 2000 Tom Decorte is appointed professor in the field of criminology, at the Department of Criminology, Penal Law and Social Law of the Faculty of Law, University of Ghent. In September 2002 he founded the Institute for Social Drug Research (ISD), a research group that wants to play a prominent part in the social scientific collection and transfer of knowledge regarding different aspects of the use of drugs, drug trafficking and drug policies from a social scientific perspective and a social commitment. Apart from active participation in European and international networks, professor Decorte often gives lectures on different aspects of the drug phenomenon at national and international conferences, guest lectures at Belgian universities, and presentations in schools and other organizations.
He is currently teaching courses in ‘Qualitative Criminological Methods’ (2nd bachelor), ‘Drug phenomena’ (3rd bachelor, partim), ‘Selected issues: drug policy' (Master, partim), 'Selected Issues: Critical Criminology and the Criminal Justice System I and II' (3rd bachelor and Master) and four courses in the Qualified Teacher's Degree for Secondary Education: ‘Teaching Methodology I’, ‘Teaching Methodology II’, ‘Teaching Methodology: practically-oriented seminars’ and the ‘Work placement’.

Here you can find an overview of his publications in the academic bibliography of UGent. The full-text of the publications is available from 2010 on.


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Charlotte De KockCDK 2019.JPG

Over the past decade, Charlotte De Kock consistently contributed to the research tradition focusing on the migration-drug use / treatment nexus. She published and peer-reviewed extensively in this field. This tradition was initiated in Flanders by, among others, the ZEMIV (2008) and PADUMI (2016) research project in which Prof Derluyn and Prof Decorte took the lead. Charlotte  her PhD with the thesis 'Equitable substance use treatment for migrants and ethnic minorities'.

MATREMI (2020), ACCESS (2022), DrugInt (2023-2025) and 'Recovery capital among refugees' (2023-2028), were designed and conducted by Charlotte De Kock. She works and worked with funds from the Federal Science Policy, Fedasil and the European Drug and Asylum Agency, among others, on fundamental, practice- and policy-oriented research. Shere recently completed two research projects on professional drug-related needs in the European (EMCDDA & EUAA, 2023) and in the Belgian reception setting (DrugInt).

Charlotte chaired the Diversity Committee of the Faculty of Law & Criminology from 2018 to 2023. She has been an active board member of the European Xchange Prevention Platform (EMCDDA) since 2018 and is a member of the scientific committee of the European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR) and Lisbon Addictions. 

Currently, Charlotte is conducting research on human smuggling and trafficking at Myria (Federal Migration Centre). She remains attached to Ghent University as an academic consultant for, among other tasks, the follow-up of the DrugInt 2.0 project and will continue her research at UGent in 2026 in the framework of an FWO postdoc research project on social recovery capital among persons with a refugee background.




Herman WolfHerman Wolf

Herman Wolf (°02/06/1961) obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Dutch, English and History (Pius X, 1985) and a Master’s degree in Criminology (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 2004). In his dissertation he explored the added value of public and private partnerships for employment projects aimed at people who experience difficulties in finding a job. Furthermore, Wolf is a fiction and non-fiction writer.

Wolf has an extensive experience in the field. Initially, he worked as an executive for the Sleutel vzw and co-developed accessible actions aimed at drug users in Antwerp. In this same period, he functioned as one of the architects of organized outreach work in Flanders and Brussels and as co-founder/coordinator of Vlastrov vzw (Vlaams straakhoekwerk Overleg). For JeS vzw, he afterwards coordinated the startup and activities for the city youth center De Branderij in Borgerhout. Furthermore, he founded Instant A, a public-private employment mediation organization specified for vulnerable groups , of which he acted as director for ten years. In the following period, he held an intermediary position as managing director within adult education.

Currently, Herman Wolf is a teaching-assistant within the Department of Criminology, Criminal Law and Social Law. For several years now, he is also a teacher at the Karel de Grote-hogeschool within the study field of social work.

Relevant criminological creations:

  • SMACK! (theater play, Fakkeltheater Antwerpen (1993), Théâtre de Poche Brussel (1994));
  • Drugs en Gebruik – duidelijke antwoorden op uw vragen (co-author, Icarus/Standaard uitgeverij, 1994, 1995, 1998);
  • Straathoekwerk: een algemene inleiding (Standaard uitgeverij, 1997);
  • Gettoblaster! (co-author, Manteau, 1999);
  • Het spanningsveld bij de aanpak van de criminaliteit in steden: over vertrouwensagenten en straathoekwerkers met een wapenstok (Panopticon, 1999)
  • GHB! (Theater play, Raamtheater Antwerpen, 2005)
  • Mijn land!Mijn land! De Chocoprince van Tsuide (theater play, ’t Arsenaal Mechelen, 2013)


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Marthe Ongenaert Marthe Ongenaert

Marthe Ongenaert (°07/09/1996) obtained in 2018 a Master’s degree in Criminology (Ghent University) with great distinction. For her master dissertation, she performed a study which explored the informal and illegal employment of asylum seekers in Flanders.

Since 2018, Marthe is active as a teaching assistant at the Department of Criminology, Penal Law and Social Law. She is involved in the courses qualitative research methods and techniques, drug phenomena, drug policy and critical criminology.

She prepares her PhD that focuses on harmful corporate practices within the ermerging legal cannabis industry.


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Mafalda Pardal

Mafalda Pardal

Mafalda Pardal (°30/09/1987) is a FWO postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Social Drug Research (ISD), where she is currently studying whether and how the introduction of a legal cannabis market in Uruguay has affected the illicit market in that region. She obtained a PhD in Criminology at Ghent University in 2018. In recent years, her research has been centered on the study of the phenomenon of Cannabis Social Clubs in Belgium as well as in other European countries. She has been a visiting researcher at the Catholic University of Uruguay (2018). In 2020-21, she co-coordinated a Belspo-funded research project about the non-medical use of prescription drugs among young adults in Belgium (YOUTH-PUMED).

She obtained a PhD in Criminology at Ghent University in 2018, and holds a M.Sc. in Criminology (cum laude) from the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), as well as a B.A. in Law from the University of Coimbra (Portugal).

Dr. Mafalda Pardal has taught courses in ‘Qualitative Research Methods for Criminology’ (2nd bachelor) and ‘Selected issues: drug policy’ (Master). She has given guest lectures on drug-related issues in Belgium and abroad.

Currently she is active as a senior analyst at RAND Europe.

Here you can find an overview of her publications in the academic bibliography of UGent. The full-text of the publications is available from 2010 on.


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Frédérique BawinFrédérique Bawin

Frédérique Bawin (°27/11/1992) obtained the degree of Master in Criminological Sciences (UGent) in 2015 with the highest distinction. For her Master's thesis, she conducted exploratory research on environmental justice in Belgium.

From 2015 to 2020, she was active as a doctoral student at the ISD. She prepared a dissertation on the topic of medicinal cannabis. This doctoral research focused on self-reported medicinal cannabis use in Flanders, with a particular focus on user profiles and patterns of use for health reasons. Frédérique successfully defended her PhD thesis on 13 January 2020.

Since 2020, she has been working as a postdoctoral researcher at the ISD. From 2020 to 2021, she worked as a lead researcher on the research project Youth perceptions in recreational or non-medical use of psychoactive medication (YOUTH-PUMED). Since September 2021, she is conducting research on the market and profit analysis of indoor illicit cannabis cultivation and trafficking (MARCANT).

Frédérique was appointed as part-time Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law and Criminology for the fields Qualitative criminological methods and techniques and Selected Issues: Drug Policy.

Currently, Frédérique is a voluntary postdoctoral fellow at the ISD.

Here you can find an overview of her publications in the academic bibliography of UGent. The full-text of the publications is available from 2010 on.


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