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Compstat and the New Penology: A Paradigm Shift in Policing?

NCJ Number
British Journal of Criminology Volume: 52 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2012 Pages: 73-92
Date Published
January 2012
20 pages

This study examined Compstat a police management and accountability system.


Using fieldwork data collected at seven police agencies in the United States, this study asks 'To what extent is the operation of Compstat, a recent and highly touted police management and accountability system, consistent with the new penology'? Examining a multidimensional reform in an area (police innovation) that has been relatively neglected helps illuminate to what degree Compstat is part of a new trend in criminal justice, and it gives theoretical insight into how the applicability of the new penology's elements may vary across different institutional settings. The findings suggested support for the new penology at a general level but this weakened significantly upon closer examination. This article then provides a broader theoretical explanation for this looseness of fit with our observations of Compstat's operation. (Published Abstract)

Date Published: January 1, 2012