Karen Laidler

Karen Laidler

Professor of Sociology and Director of the Centre for Criminology

Director, Centre for Criminology
University of Hong Kong

About this Speaker

Karen Joe Laidler is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Centre for Criminology. Her research focuses on drugs, sex work, youth gangs, and women’s imprisonment. As a native San Franciscan, she has been involved in criminological research since the 1980s, working with non-profit organizations and government agencies in Northern California. She has worked on a variety of primary and policy related research including: evaluation of drug intervention programmes; juvenile court intervention; inmate grievance processes; bail reform; sentencing guidelines; risk assessment for juvenile detention; prison planning and classification systems for adult prisons; youth gangs, and drug use problems among methamphetamine users.


She moved to Hong Kong in the 1990s, and has followed the development of the city’s drug market for nearly three decades. Her recent projects include a study on how young people obtain their drugs and social supply, drug use and risks among young gay men, investment fraud, and social harms and service access for ethnic minority youth in Hong Kong.


She is a trustee for the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy, and is a member of the Hong Kong Law Reform Commission’s subcommittee in a review on laws and policies related to sexual offences.