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)
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”.


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.


“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.