In Memoriam: Cristina Rechea Alberola, 1944-2022

Esther Fernández Molina

Esther Fernández Molina

Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha



In Memoriam:  Cristina Rechea Alberola, 1944-2022

The European Society of Criminology mourns the passing of Cristina Rechea Alberola on June 26, 2022, in Valencia, Spain.  She was a Founding Member of the ESC and a Board Member from 2000-2002, organizing the second ESC Conference in Toledo, Spain in 2002.  We, her friends, colleagues, and mentees, write this obituary in her honor. Cristina was born in Valencia in 1944.  A psychologist by training and expert in visual perception, she obtained her doctorate at the University of Santiago de Compostela, where she continued her academic career and obtained her Cátedra (full professorship).  In 1990 she transferred to the University of Castilla-La Mancha in Albacete for a second career in criminology.  There, she was a founding director of the first Master´s Program in criminology in Spain. 

Dr. Rechea led an active research agenda, attracting local, regional, national and European funding for projects on juvenile delinquency, women and crime, and victimology.  She became the founding director of the university’s Criminology Research Center in 1999.  Her first projects were on crime measurement, which she believed was essential to establish an empirical tradition in Spanish criminology. Thanks to Cristina, Spain was included in successive waves of the ISRD (International Self-Report Delinquency Study).  Cristina was a strong believer in collaboration and partnerships and gave her time unselfishly to many projects.  A curious and gregarious scholar, she organized many seminars and conferences on diverse topics and was an advocate of professional associations. She also loved to host scholars from other countries and welcomed graduate students from abroad.  She was a founding member and the first President of the Spanish Society for Criminological Research in 2008 and received its highest award, the Rafael Salillas Award, in 2008.  After her retirement, in 2017 she received an award from Fundación Diagrama for “professional commitment” (1) noting her “inestimable and extensive research on juvenile delinquency, opening up new areas of psychosocial analysis and avenues for research at the European level that have led to a significant improvement in psychosocial and socio-educational interventions that occur in this field.”

Dr. Rechea remained in Albacete until her retirement in 2015, having developed both graduate and undergraduate degrees in criminology, and having mentored many young scholars, particularly women, who thrived under her unwavering encouragement and sound methodological guidance.   She had directed 18 doctoral dissertations in her career, 12 of which were during her time in Albacete.  Cristina was a loyal and indefatigable defender of our discipline throughout her career and long into retirement.  Her latest projects were editing a collection of criminology textbooks in Spanish for Editorial Síntesis (  and acting as an advisor to organizations and foundations related to criminology, such as Fundación Atenea and Fundación Fiadys.  She was so active in retirement that we had to clear our topic for her libro homenaje (Festschrift) with her so it would not compete with books in her collection. A pioneer in Spanish criminology, she will be a model for young scholars for years to come.  Fluent in French and English along with her native Spanish, and appreciative of different perspectives, she embodied the values of the ESC.  She leaves behind many former students and friends who will never forget her.   

Rosemary Barberet is Professor of Sociology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, New York, USA

Raquel Bartolomé is Associate Professor of Psychology at the Department of Psychology, University Castilla-La Mancha, Albacete, Spain

Esther Fernández-Molina is Associate Professor in Criminology and Criminal Law at the University of Castilla-La Mancha, Albacete, Spain


Selected works of Cristina Rechea Alberola are below.  We also note the research methods book edited in her honor upon her retirement, with chapters by former students, colleagues and friends:


Barberet, R., Bartolomé Gutiérrez, R. & Fernández Molina, E. (2019). Metodología de Investigación en Criminología. Valencia: Tirant lo Blanch.

Barberet, R. & Rechea, C. (1994). Cocaine markets and law enforcement in Spain. In E. Savona, N. Dorn, & T. Ellis (Eds.). Cocaine markets and law enforcement in Europe. UNICRI.

Rechea, C., Barberet, R., Montañés, J. & Arroyo, L. (1995). La delincuencia juvenil en España: Autoinforme de los jóvenes. Ministerio de Justicia e Interior.

Rechea, C., Barberet, R., Montañés, J. & Arroyo, L. (1995). Adolescencia: ¿Un sarampión? Delincuencia juvenil en Castilla-La Mancha. Universidad Castilla-La Mancha.

Bartolomé, R. & Rechea, C. (1999). El consumo de drogas en el ámbito laboral. Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha.

Rechea Alberola, C. & Fernández Molina, E. (2003). Juvenile justice in Spain: Past and present. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 19(4), 384-412.

Rechea Alberola, C. & Giménez-Salinas Framis, A. (2003). Una aproximación al tráfico de mujeres con fines de explotación sexual en España. Cuadernos de Política Criminal, 80, 287-310.

Rechea Alberola, C. & Fernández Molina, E. (2006). Continuity and change in the Spanish juvenile justice system. In J. Junger-Tas, J & S. Decker (Eds.) Handbook of juvenile justice. Springer International Publishing AG.

Bartolomé-Gutierrez, R. & Rechea-Alberola, C. (2006). Violent youth groups in Spain. Young: Nordic Journal of Youth Research, 14(4), 323-342.

Giménez-Salinas Framis, A. & Rechea Alberola, C. (2007). La seguridad privada y su papel en la gestión de la seguridad ciudadana. En A. Serrano Gómez, (Dir.) Tendencias de la criminalidad y percepción social de la inseguridad ciudadana en España y la Unión Europea (pp. 253-289). Edisofer.

Fernández Molina, E., Bartolomé Gutiérrez, R., Rechea Alberola, C. & Megías Boró, A. (2009). Evolución y tendencias de la delincuencia juvenil en España. Revista Española de Investigación Criminológica, 7.

Rechea Alberola, C. & Bartolomé Gutiérrez, R. (2010). Spain. In J. Junger-Tas, I.H. Marshall, D. Enzmann, M. Killias, M. Steketee, & B. Gruszczynska (Eds.). Juvenile delinquency in Europe and beyond: Results of the Second International Self-Report Delinquency Study (pp. 213-226). Kluwer/Springer.

Rubiños Varela, T. & Rechea Alberola, C. (2011). Vecinos de una prisión, ¿ventaja o desventaja? Boletín Criminológico, 17,

Bartolomé-Gutiérrez, R., Fernández-Molina, E. & Rechea-Alberola, C. (2017). Spain. In C. J. Schreck (Ed.) Wiley Encyclopedia of Juvenile Delinquency and Justice. Wiley-Blackwell.

To consult the full list of research projects and publications for Dr. Rechea, please see here