Dr Jose Pina-Sánchez

Dr Jose Pina-Sánchez


I am an Associate Professor in Quantitative Criminology. Through my work, as a researcher and an educator, I seek to shed new light on the functioning of the Criminal Justice System using advanced statistical methods. In doing so, I seek to contribute to a fairer, more transparent, and effective Criminal Justice System.  

My background is distinctly international and multidisciplinary. I hold a BSc in Economics from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, an MA in Political Economics from the Université Pierre Mendès France, and an Msc and PhD in Social Statistics from the University of Manchester. Before joining the University of Leeds in 2015, and formally becoming a Criminologist, I was a Fellow in Statistics at the London School of Economics. Before that I worked in the private sector as a consultant in Public Policy Evaluation.

My research is fundamentally applied. I seek to answer relevant research questions, with a clear real-world application, using the best analytical approaches available, without constraining myself to a specific academic discipline. A good testament of this is my publication record, featuring Statistics, Survey Methodology, Psychology, Political Science, Law, and Criminology journals.

Such drive to tackle applied issues has lead me to collaborate with multiple Criminal Justice partners (Sentencing Council for England and Wales, Sentencing Academy, Parole Board, Ministry of Justice, Crown Prosecution Service, Slovenian State Prosecutor, or Cumbria and West Yorkshire Police Forces) in more than ten funded projects. 

My research has pushed the knowledge frontier in Criminal Justice studies, while simultaneously achieving a real impact outside academia. For example, I have collaborated with the Sentencing Council for England and Wales to reformulate the analytical protocols used to assess the impact of their sentencing guidelines. These new analytical tools allow analysts at the Sentencing Council to identify changes in consistency across courts or unexpected increases in sentence severity, following the introduction of new sentencing guidelines. 


  • Program manager of the BSc Quantitative Pathway

Research interests

My research interests are varied. I have been most active in the field of sentencing and criminal justice decision-making, where I have sought to find analytical strategies to operationalise rather elusive concepts such as consistency, individualisation, severity, or discrimination.

Another substantive question that draws much of my attention is that of compliance with the law. In particular, I have sought to explore the causal effect of procedural justice on institutional legitimacy, and the extent to which such effect is uniform across people. 

From a more methodological perspective, I am interested in the area of measurement error (i.e. the extent to which observed data represents the true phenomenon that we would like to record). I have explored this question using administrative and survey data on unemployment, and analytical strategies based on Bayesian statistics and latent variable estimation. Currently, I am examining the prevalence, impact, and potential solutions to tackle the problem of measurement error in police data as part of the Recounting Crime project.

Other methodological areas that I am interested in are multilevel modelling, longitudinal data analysis, and causal inference. 

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Student education

I became an Associate Fellow with the UK Higher Education Academy in 2015, while I was still based at the London School of Economics, teaching Management UG students modules on Statistical Modelling and Survey Methodology.

Since I arrived at Leeds I became the module leader for the UG and PGT modules on Research Methods in Criminology and Criminal Justice, where most of my teaching has been concentrated.

In 2018 I became the program manager of the QStep Quantitative Pathway in Criminology and Criminal Justice, where I also lead the module Quantitative Social Research II.  

I have also collaborated and lead short courses aimed at researchers, on the topics of Missing Data, Multilevel Modelling, Expert Elicitation Techniques, and Longitudinal Data Analysis. 

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Criminal Justice Studies

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>