John S. Goldkamp, 64, a professor of criminal justice at Temple University, died August 26 of multiple myeloma.
Goldkamp came to Temple in 1978, became acting chair in 1979, and chaired the department from 1980-83 and again in 2004-10. For more than 30 years, he was instrumental both in attracting a strong faculty and creating a rigorous academic program for the university’s Department of Criminal Justice. His efforts led to the development of an MA program in the early 1980s and a doctoral program in the early 1990s, according to a press release from Temple’s criminal justice department.
Goldkamp directed a number of research projects in Philadelphia and other municipalities, focusing on discretion in criminal justice and innovation in the courts, with an emphasis on pretrial detention and release, the judicial role, treatment and alternatives to confinement, a release said.
Goldkamp’s research on bail led to the implementation of bail release decision guidelines in Philadelphia in the 1980s. Other municipalities around the country followed in adopting bail guidelines based in part on his work. In the early 1990s, he conducted an evaluation showing the effectiveness of the nation’s first drug court in Miami-Dade County, Fla., which led to the opening of drug courts around the country, according to a release.
Throughout his career, Goldkamp published three books, more than 50 articles and about 100 research reports.
From 1999 to 2004, Goldkamp served as the criminal law reporter for the American Bar Association’s Task Force on Standards for Pretrial Release. In 2008, at the request of then-Governor Ed Rendell, he undertook a comprehensive review of policies of the Pennsylvania Board of Parole. In 2010, Goldkamp headed the subcommittee focused on bail and pretrial practices for the Advisory Committee of the Joint State Government Commission, the release said.
Goldkamp received several awards and honors, including the Pioneer Award from the National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies in 1998 and the Paul H. Chapman medal from the Foundation for the Improvement of Justice for his work on legal reform in 2003. Earlier this year, he was named the recipient of the August Vollmer Award from the American Society of Criminology.
Goldkamp graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in French literature, and then obtained a doctorate in criminal justice at the State University of New York-Albany.
Goldkamp is survived by his spouse, Rely Vilcica; two daughters, Aurora Margarita-Goldkamp and Violet Margarita-Goldkamp; five siblings, Marlene, Gail, Louise, Carole and Karl; and former wife, Mona Margarita.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation at www.themmrf.org.