Comparing employment trajectories before and after first imprisonment in four Nordic countries

Is there a difference between Nordic countries when it comes to offenders employment trajectories before and after imprisonment? Mikko Aaltonen, Torbjørn Skardhamar, Anders Nilsson, Lars Højsgaard Andersen, Olof Bäckman, Felipe Estrada and Petri Danielsson explores this issue further in an article for the British Journal of Criminology.


Employment plays a crucial role in the re-entry process and in reducing recidivism among offenders released from prison. But at the same time, imprisonment is generally regarded as harmful to post-release employment prospects. Little is known, however, about whether or not offenders’ employment trajectories before and after imprisonment are similar across countries. As a first step towards filling this gap in research, this paper provides evidence on employment trajectories before and after imprisonment in four Nordic welfare states: Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Using data gathered from administrative records on incarcerated offenders, the analysis focuses on individuals imprisoned for the first time and who served a prison sentence less than one year in length. Results show that although employment trajectories develop in mostly similar ways before and after imprisonment across these countries, important differences exist.

Link to article

Tags: incarceration, employment, re-entry, comparative research, register-based analysis By Mikko Aaltonen Torbjørn Skardhamar Anders Nilsson Lars Højsgaard Andersen Olof Bäckman Felipe Estrada Petri Danielsson
Published Apr. 12, 2017 11:48 AM - Last modified Apr. 12, 2017 11:48 AM