Research on How to Break the Criminal Cycle Receives Prestigious Grant
Randi Hjalmarsson, Professor of Economics at the School of Business, Economics and Law, has been awarded the prestigious Advanced Grant from the European Research Council. The research aims to push the knowledge on how to break a criminal cycle.
Economic inequality implies unequal opportunities that affect an individual’s chances of entering the justice system. One channel through which this can occur is unequal treatment by the police, prosecutors, juries, and judges. The impact of such partiality is not trivial; once in the system, it is hard to get out. If convictions and sanctions result in worse outcomes, such as unemployment, then the cycle of crime can continue for current and future generations.
– This research program aims to push forward the evidence base on three channels – police, prisons, and firms – through which this cycle can be broken, says Randi Hjalmarsson, Professor of Economics at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg, who has done extensive research on the economics of crime and the criminal justice system.
Almost 2.3 million Euros for five years
With the Advanced Grant from the European Research Council, one of the most prestigious and competitive EU funding schemes, Randi Hjalmarsson has secured funding for almost 2.3 million Euros for five years to implement her project “Breaking the Inequality-Crime Cycle”. Professor Matthew Lindquist at the Swedish Institute for Social Research at Stockholm University is a partner in the program.
I am super excited to have been awarded the ERC grant – something I have been working towards for many years
– I am super excited to have been awarded the ERC grant – something I have been working towards for many years. My research program is ambitious and aims to consider many channels and institutions through which policy makers can break the cycle of inequality and crime.
The first part of the project aims to study the adoption of implicit bias training programs by police and other criminal justice agencies. Despite such programs being a go-to response of agencies accused of bias, there is almost no knowledge on whether they impact officer behavior.
The second part addresses the knowledge gap on ‘what works’ in prison. Prison is a black box of many treatments, including the facility, conditions, peers, sentence length, healthcare, treatment, and training. Hjalmarsson aims to open this black box. One dimension on which she will focus is the impact of healthcare in prison.
The last part of the project aims to further our understanding of the employment outcomes of individuals with criminal records in Sweden. An emphasis will be placed on the role of firm hiring decisions and offender informal networks.
Text: Jessica Oscarsson
Randi Hjalmarsson, Professor of Economics.
Telephone: +46 31-786 12 48
The European Research Council (ERC) is the premier European funding organization for excellent frontier research. It funds creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects based across Europe. The ERC offers four core grant schemes: Starting Grants, Consolidator Grants, Advanced Grants and Synergy Grants.
The ERC Advanced Grant is awarded to established, leading researchers with a proven track-record of significant research achievements over the past decade.
This is the first time a researcher at The School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg receives the ERC Advanced Grant.
One more researcher at the University of Gothenburg has received the grant this year (in Swedish)