Professor Jose Pina-Sánchez

Professor Jose Pina-Sánchez


My research and teaching focus on the application of advanced statistical methods and innovative data sources to contribute to a fairer, more transparent, and effective criminal justice system.

My academic background is distinctly multidisciplinary. I earned 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, I served as a Fellow in Statistics at the London School of Economics. Prior to that, I worked in the private sector as a consultant in Public Policy Evaluation. My research has been published in journals spanning a wide range of academic disciplines, including Criminology, Law, Statistics, Methodology, Psychology, Social Psychology, and Political Science


  • Program manager of the BSc Criminal Justice and Criminology (Quantitative Pathway)
  • Co-Director of the Social Research Methods centre

Research interests

Most of my research has centered on criminal justice decision-making, with a particular emphasis on sentencing, where I have employed innovative analytical strategies to operationalise complex concepts like consistency, individualisation, severity, and discrimination. In my latest project, ‘Disproportionality: Exploring the Nature of Ethnic Disparities in Sentencing through Causal Inference’, I lead a multidisciplinary team investigating whether ethnic disparities in prison sentences could be indicative of sentencing discrimination.

The majority of my research is highly applied, generating tangible ‘real-world’ impact. For instance, I collaborated with the Sentencing Council for England and Wales to revamp analytical protocols for assessing the impact of sentencing guidelines. These new tools enable analysts to identify changes in consistency across courts or unexpected increases in sentence severity following the implementation of new guidelines. Other criminal justice agencies I have collaborated with include The Scottish Sentencing Council, Sentencing Academy, Crown Prosecution Service, Parole Board, Ministry of Justice, Slovenian State Prosecutor, and Cumbria and West Yorkshire Police Forces.

Additionally, I have worked on methodological projects focused on quantitative bias, and measurement error specifically, exploring the extent to which observed data accurately represents the true phenomenon. I have employed various analytical strategies such as simulations, SIMEX, synthetic data, Bayesian statistics, and latent variable estimation. Currently, as a member of the ‘Recounting Crime’ project, I am examining the prevalence, impact, and potential solutions to the ‘dark figure’ of crime. Other methodological areas of interest include multilevel modeling, 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="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Student education

I am an Associate Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. In the past I have led undergraduate and postgraduate modules on Statistical Modelling and Survey Methodology, and Research Methods in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Currently, I serve as the program manager of the QStep ‘Quantitative Pathway in Criminology and Criminal Justice’. Additionally, I have also conducted short methods courses tailored for Social Science researchers, covering topics such as Missing Data, Measurement Error, 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="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>