This is the fourth installment of Border Criminologies’ themed series on our network members. The series aims to present our members’ ongoing research, recent publications, new course modules they might be developing, grants and awards, partnerships and collaborations, and questions they have been considering or struggling with.

Research update by Katja Franko, Professor of Criminology, Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law, University of Oslo.

I’m currently working on the last stages of a project entitled ‘Crime control in the borderlands of Europe,’ funded by the European Research Council. One of the main challenges has been to conceptualize the fast pace of changes that have been happening in the field of border control in the EU and in Norway in the past year. Some of our work, so far, has focused on examining the peculiar dichotomies of help and control, and the coexistence of the militarization of borders with certain types of humanitarian responses.

However, the past year we have been seeing a considerably colder political climate, with regard to migration. When it comes to Norway, the country forcefully deported from its territory 7,825 people in 2015, and plans to increase the numbers to 9,000 in 2016. (By comparison, the numbers of forced returns for the UK and Sweden were 12,460 and 5,755, respectively). Norway is also changing its legislation and reducing migrants' procedural rights in order to increase and speed up deportability. Due to these developments, I have been dedicating considerable time to public speaking and participating in the public debate and working on a book on this topic, which will hopefully be published in the near future.

Research update by Thomas Ugelvik and Dorina Damsa, Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law, University of Oslo. Dorina is a Research Assistant and Thomas is an Associate Professor of Criminology, although he is currently enjoying paternity leave with his new daughter Eldbjørg.

Kongsvinger prison is unique in Norway as its purpose is to exclude, unlike other Norwegian prisons, which seek to transform prisoners into disciplined citizens to be reintegrated in society, as part of a wider Norwegian inclusion strategy.  Kongsvinger holds foreign nationals and facilitates their transfer or deportation to their home country, functioning effectively at the border of the Norwegian welfare state. What does this mean for the prisoners? How is the Norwegian crimmigration prison in Kongsvinger different from the conventional Norwegian prison? What happens to the prisoners once expelled? And what happens to the small number of those who are released in Norway?

To address some of these questions, we are currently conducting a research project together with Ioan Durnescu, at the University of Bucharest. We follow Romanian and Romanian Roma prisoners, starting with their time in Kongsvinger, then through release and deportation processes to Romania or Norway, and post release. We are interested in how the prisoners experience a crimmigration prison, such as Kongsvinger, how they are prepared for release and how this impacts their experiences after they are released back into society. In recounting the experience of this particular group, this research project seeks to illuminate the workings of the crimmigration prison, one of the new borders of the Norwegian welfare state.

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How to cite this blog post (Harvard style)

Franko, K., Ugelvik, T. and Damsa, D. (2016) Research Update: Network Members from the University of Oslo. Available at: https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/research-subject-groups/centre-criminology/centreborder-criminologies/blog/2016/06/research-update-0 (Accessed [date]).