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. At Nuffield, Dave directs the Nuffield Undergraduate Scholars Institute as well as the Centre for Social Investigation. Dave received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago.

Dave's 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



Kirk, David S. 2020. Home Free: Prisoner Reentry and Residential Change after Hurricane Katrina (Oxford University Press)



Kirk, David S., and Marti Rovira. Forthcoming. “An Audit Experiment to Investigate the ‘War on Cops’.” Journal of Experimental Criminology.

Simpson, Cohen R., and David S. Kirk. Forthcoming. “Is Police Misconduct Contagious? Non-Trivial Null Findings from Dallas, Texas.” Journal of Quantitative Criminology.

Kirk, David S. Forthcoming. “Breaking Free — Neighborhoods’ Pull and Peril for the Formerly Incarcerated.” Contexts.

Frey, Arun, and David S. Kirk. Forthcoming. “The Impact of Mass Shootings on Attitudes toward Gun Restrictions.” Socius.

Kirk, David S., Nicolo Cavalli*, and Noli Brazil. 2020. “The Implications of Ridehailing for Risky Driving and Road Accident Injuries and Fatalities.” Social Science & Medicine 250.

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.

Kirk, David S., and Sara Wakefield. 2018. “Collateral Consequences of Punishment: A Critical Review and Path Forward.” Annual Review of Criminology 1: 171-194.

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.