Fernando Avila

Photo of Fernando Avila
PhD student, 2018

Tel: 416.946.5013


Research Interests

Imprisonment, Punishment, Prison sociology


“Governing prisoners through responsibilization. The case of Punta de Rieles prison in Uruguay.”

Supervisors: Kelly Hannah-Moffat and Paula Maurutto

My dissertation explores the different techniques of power used by prison administration to create productive citizens, capable of self-government, and how the resulting power relations reshape the experience of punishment inside the Uruguayan prison “Punta de Rieles”, where more than 600 prisoners coexist in a relatively peaceful space, and have access to cell phones, internet, workshops and businesses.


MA in Criminology (National University of Litoral, Argentina)
LLM in Criminal Law (National University of Rosario, Argentina)
BA in Law (National University of Tucuman, Argentina)


Fernando Avila is currently a PhD student at the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto. Originally from Catamarca, Argentina, his work centers around power and order in prisons. Fernando’s current research explores the experience of punishment and relations of power in a Latin American prison in Uruguay, called “Punta de Rieles”.


  • Ontario Trillium Scholarship. 2018
  • Connaught International Scholarship for Doctoral Students. 2018


Ávila, Fernando; Gutiérrez, Mariano H. “Right to dignified work in prisons. Experience in Penitentiary of Batán case”. Chapter in the book “Seeking a progressive agenda for the criminal system”. Editorial Siglo XXI. 2014.

Ávila, Fernando; Juliano, Mario. “Against lifetime imprisonment”. Del Puerto Editorial. 2012.

Ávila, Fernando. “On the limits of pretrial detentions”. Chapter in the book “Rulings of the National Criminal Court of Appeal, vol. 2”. Editorial Hammurabi. 2016.


“Experiences in a non-traditional prison.” Latin-American Conference on prison post-release policies. 13/06/2019. Montevideo, Uruguay.

“Governing through responsibilization in a Global South prison”. Law and Society Association Annual Meeting 2019. 30/5/2018. Washington DC, United States of America.

“Algorithmic Fairness in the Criminal Justice System.” Digitizing Justice: Law, Crime, and Order in an Online World. May 15-17, 2019, The University of Winnipeg. Winnipeg, MB. Canada.

“The pains of imprisonment in Punta de Rieles prison”, International Workshop. The Society of Captives, 28/7/2018. Law Faculty. National University of Buenos Aires. Argentina.

“Power and order in a non-traditional prison. The case of Punta de Rieles prison in Uruguay”, Law and Society Association Annual Meeting 2018, 9/6/2018. Sheraton Centre Hotel. Toronto, Canada.

“The society of captives”, II Institutional Violence Workshop, 8/8/2016. National University of Mar del Plata. Argentina.