In October 2021 I visited Ilisimatusarfik/the University of Greenland through the north2north staff mobility program. The objective of the research visit was to connect with scholars who have specified knowledge in the criminological and juridical subject area of legal rights regarding Greenlandic convicts who are sent to prison/institution in Denmark. Based on my research on offenders with intellectual disabilities in Denmark I aimed to exchange research work on subjects of the cultural background of Greenlandic convicts with ID, the Greenlandic juridical practise of sending convicts to Denmark, the convicts legal rights and how the transnational transfer of Greenlandic convicts with ID is practised between the authorities of Greenland and Denmark. The priority purpose of the north2north mobility program was to connect with Annemette Nyborg Lauridsen (criminologist) and (social work) colleagues at Ilisimatusarfik/the University of Greenland.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the scheduled trip was postponed twice from October 2020 to October 2021. In the year of Covid-19, Annemette and I connected, applied, and received funding from the Swedish foundation, Ulla V. Bondesons Stiftelsen for the research project: Sentenced to care in Denmark – a mapping of the number of convictions, places of placement and the criminal case law with adults with intellectual disabilities convicted under the Criminal Code for Greenland. Hence, my research trip allowed me to not only connect with scholars but also with students and other stakeholders relevant to the research project.
During my visit to Ilisimatusarfik/the University of Greenland, I gave a lecture for students and staff at the social work programme presenting not only the research project but the legal rights and criminal case law of Greenland regarding offenders with intellectual disabilities and psychiatric diagnoses. The lecture and the related discussions with the participating students and staff gave me a valuable insight into the field from partly their personal experiences but most importantly their cultural perspective. The gained insights/knowledge were – and still are - essential for me to bring into the research project.
My established collaboration with Annemette Nyborg Lauridsen turned out to be particularly valuable to connect with other stakeholders in Greenland; the juridical leaders at Greenland Self-Government, Greenland Police and the Greenlandic Prosecution Service who we all met with as they are relevant for our joint research project. We achieved, for instance, a working agreement with the Greenlandic Prosecution Service to access their legal documents/archives.
This allows us to be able to map the number of convicted adults with disabilities under the Criminal Code for Greenland including their places of placement and case law procedures. Consequently, the access to the archives of the Prosecution Service made data collection an opportunity during my research trip.
In sum, the research and teaching objective aim of the mobility grant to create a platform for research collaboration regarding the transferal of Greenlandic convicts with ID and other disabilities to Denmark has been more than successful. Hence, I thank UArctic for the north2north staff mobility program. It has truly given me some current and future research connections/opportunities which I could not have achieved without the grant.