Fels Alumnus Wins Stockholm Prize in Criminology

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November 7, 2017

The Stockholm Prize in Criminology is an annually-awarded, international prize in the field of criminology in the amount of one million Swedish krona. This award, presented for the first time in 2006, is given to a recipient or group of co-recipients selected for their outstanding achievements in one of two areas: criminological research or the application of research results for the reduction of crime and the advancement of human rights. Fels graduate Herman Goldstein has won the 2018 prize.

The Fels Institute of Government is proud to report that alumnus Herman Goldstein, Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin, has won the 2018 Stockholm Prize in Criminology—recognizing him as the world’s most influential scholar on modern police strategy. This award has been given in recognition of both his paradigm-shifting 1979 strategy of “problem-oriented policing” (POP) as well as his lifetime of astounding empirical, theoretical, and philosophical work on policing, in general. 

Goldstein’s POP strategy has greatly influenced the work of police agencies around the world. In 2008, the Norwegian government-supported Campbell Collaboration published The Effects of Problem-Oriented Policing on Crime and Disorder, a systematic review of studies which claims over 5500 reported uses of POP in global police agencies since its creation and assesses the impact of POP on these agencies as “overwhelmingly positive”. Since then, a number of other studies have confirmed the immense impact that POP has had on global police strategy.

Penny and Robert A. Fox Faculty Director and criminology professor, Dr. John MacDonald stated, “Herman Goldstein is the most influential thinker on police reform.  Through his practical experience as an assistant city manager and executive assistant to Chicago Police Superintendent, he learned the problems of police are multifaceted and require that police officers approach their work as problem solvers. His pioneering work on problem solving policing has been a major source of positive reform in policing around the world.  The insights on police reform he wrote about thirty years ago are relevant today as policy makers and police professionals address the challenge of providing public safety and protecting civil liberties.” 

Herman Goldstein graduated from the Fels Institute of Government in 1955. Professionally, Goldstein started his career by working as an assistant to the city manager of Portland, Maine. He then spent a two-year period observing the operations of Wisconsin and Michigan police agencies as a researcher with the American Bar Foundation Survey of the Administration of Criminal Justice. Later, he worked as executive assistant to O.W. Wilson, the superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. In 1964, Goldstein joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, where he has since taught and conducted a considerable amount of published research on policing.

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