Both those arguing for and against the use of prion sentences for various crimes use economic arguments and reference to socio-economic effects to support their position – but what do we know about the social and economic consequences of incarcerating offenders – and how can we know? What are the appropriate measures for assessing this?
This roundtable takes at the point of departure a project undertaken by Katrine Vellesen Løken and colleages as part of a new project investigating socio-economic effects of incarceration in Norway, using register data (NFR-young researcher grant).
Introduction: Katrine Vellesen Løken (UiB) in dialogue with Linda Grøning (UiB) and Kristian Mjåland (UiB).
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Katrine Løken is a Professor of Economics, University of Bergen. Løken’s research agenda has been to utilize rich administrative registry data to evaluate various forms of social policy, especially family policy measures as parental leave, subsidized day care, father’s quota in leave, and cash subsidies for families. The focus is consistently on finding causal effects of policy – for example by using a careful before-after design of families who were and were not affected by policy change. In recent work (as part of a Young Researcher FRIPRO project, financed by the Norwegian Research Council) she studies the causal effect of prison sentences. Løken has for example published in American Economic Review and Journal of Political Economy, two of the leading journals in Economics.
Kristian Mjåland is a Senior Researcher at Stein Rokkan Centre for Social Studies, and a Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge. He earned his PhD in Sociology from the University of Bergen, Norway, in 2015. Kristian has been involved in several large research projects, amongst others a study of compulsory care towards drug users, drug use, drug economy and offender rehabilitation in prisons, and an ongoing study of open-air drug markets. Kristian is a qualitative researcher, using primarily ethnographic methods in his work. Theoretically, his research explores issues such as penal/state power, legitimacy and procedural justice. He is currently working on a large ERC funded research project called “Penal Policymaking and the Prisoner Experience: A Comparative Analysis” (2015-2020), led by Dr. Ben Crewe at the University of Cambridge. Kristian’s recent research has appeared in journals such as Punishment & Society and International Journal of Drug Policy.