Academic Profile

People Feature

David Kirk

Professorial Fellow
Professor in Sociology

Research Interests: Life Course, Criminology, Quantitative Methods, Experimental Methods.

Dave joined the Department of Sociology and Nuffield College at the University of Oxford in 2015. He is the Director of Research for the Department of Sociology, and a member of the Steering Committee. At Nuffield, Dave serves as the Equality and Diversity Fellow, and directs the Nuffield Undergraduate Scholars Institute, the College's new graduate access initiative. He is also a faculty affiliate of the Oxford QStep Centre, and the Director of Nuffield's Centre for Social Investigation. Dave received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago.

Dave's new book, Home Free, uses Hurricane Katrina as a natural experiment for investigating why so many released prisoners are subsequently rearrested and reincarcerated. One answer is related to place. Because of the destruction from the hurricane, many individuals released from prison soon after Katrina could not go back to their old neighborhoods as they normally would have done. In this way, the hurricane provided a unique opportunity to investigate what happens when individuals move not just a short distance away from home, but to entirely different cities, counties, and social worlds. 

David Kirk


JUST RELEASED: Home Free: Prisoner Reentry and Residential Change after Hurricane Katrina (Oxford University Press)

Sneak Preview of Home Free


Kirk, David S., Geoffrey C. Barnes, Jordan M. Hyatt, and Brook W. Kearley. 2018. “The Impact of Residential Change and Housing Stability on Recidivism: Pilot Results from the Maryland Opportunities through Vouchers Experiment (MOVE).” Journal of Experimental Criminology 14(2): 213-226.

Desmond, Matthew S., Andrew V. Papachristos, and David S. Kirk. 2016. “Police Violence and Citizen Crime Reporting in the Black Community.” American Sociological Review 81(5): 857-876.

Kirk, David S. 2015. “A Natural Experiment of the Consequences of Concentrating Former Prisoners in the Same Neighborhoods.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112(22): 6943-6948.

Kirk, David S., and Robert J. Sampson. 2013. “Juvenile Arrest and Collateral Educational Damage in the Transition to Adulthood.” Sociology of Education 86(1): 36-62.

Kirk, David S. 2012. “Residential Change as a Turning Point in the Life Course of Crime: Desistance or Temporary Cessation?” Criminology 50(2): 329-58.

Kirk, David S., Andrew V. Papachristos, Jeffrey Fagan, and Tom R. Tyler. 2012. “The Paradox of Law Enforcement in Immigrant Communities: Does Tough Immigration Enforcement Undermine Public Safety?” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 641: 79-98.

Kirk, David S., and Andrew V. Papachristos. 2011. “Cultural Mechanisms and the Persistence of Neighborhood Violence.” American Journal of Sociology 116(4): 1190-1233.

Kirk, David S., and Mauri Matsuda. 2011. “Legal Cynicism, Collective Efficacy, and the Ecology of Arrest.” Criminology 49(2): 443-472.

Kirk, David S. 2009. “A Natural Experiment on Residential Change and Recidivism: Lessons from Hurricane Katrina.” American Sociological Review 74(3): 484-505.