Winner of NJC Best Article 2019

Synøve Nygaard Andersen is the author of Best Article 2019, NJC

Synøve Nygaard Andersen, PhD and researcher at Statistics Norway, is the author of the award winning article
Partners in crime? Post-release recidivism among solo and co-offenders in Norway“.

Congratulations Synøve! How does it feel to win this award?

Photo: Per Kristian Lie Løwe – Konsis grafisk AS

Thank you very much! Receiving this award was a very nice surprise, and a welcomed reminder that people sometimes both read and appreciate what you have written.

Can you briefly explain the study and your motivation?

In a nutshell the study explores patterns of co-offending before and after offenders’ first ever release from prison. The study thus combines two of my favorite topics – co-offending and recidivism research – and draws on methods and concepts from both traditional regression analysis and social network analysis.

The study shows different patterns of reoffending behavior both between co-offenders and solo offenders, and between co-offenders embedded in different types of co-offending networks. Surprisingly, not a single person in the sample reoffended with a prior accomplice – a finding that left me puzzled given previous research and had me debugging my code for days on end. Interestingly there was also a positive correlation between time spent in prison and the likelihood of co-offending after release, and taken together, these patterns raise several new questions about how incarceration can shape the nature and longevity of egocentric co-offending network ties. As always, I was left with more unanswered questions towards the end of this analysis than I was at the beginning of it!

What will you study next?

I’m starting a postdoctoral position at the Department of Sociology and Human Geography at the University of Oslo in March this year, to work on a new research project called PROMENTA. Here, I will be a part of a great research group that will focus on the overlap between crime, drugs and mental health, including the development, implementation and potential consequences of the upcoming drug policy reform in Norway. So, I’m clearly very excited about that! I will also keep working in some of my other fields of interest, including co-offending, evaluation research and comparative analyses of the Norwegian and American correctional systems.