Isaac Dalke

Profile picture for user Isaac Dalke

Isaac Dalke

Research Interests
crime, punishment, and violence; bureaucracy; expertise; governance

I am a PhD candidate in the UC-Berkeley Sociology Department. My dissertation research takes a multifaceted approach to understanding community-based violence prevention efforts across California. What shapes where it happens, who does it, and what it consists of? And how do we know if it is working? Within these questions, I’m interested in how different actors and organizations conceive of violence prevention, and the practical opportunities and constraints involved in realizing those visions. This ranges from securing funding to developing community partnerships to implementing interventions and evaluating success. My work is supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and an Institute of Governmental Studies Synar Fellowship. I am also affiliated with the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues at Berkeley.

My master's research and related ongoing work investigates how the parole board in California decides who to release from prison. I have also worked as a Graduate Student Researcher for Professor Sandra Susan Smith investigating the consequences of pretrial detention. Meanwhile, I am also broadly interested in using emerging computational text analysis methods to ask novel questions and generate new ways of understanding social life.

Prior to graduate school, I worked in prison condition advocacy, community development, and education research. I can be reached at

Work in Progress
Dalke, Isaac and Joss Greene. "Prerequisites and Pathways: How Social Categorization Helps Administrators Determine Moral Worth." Revise and Resubmit at Theory and Society.

Published Work
Dalke, Isaac. "I come before you a changed man: 'Insight,' Compliance, and Refurbishing Penal Practice in California." Forthcoming at Law & Social Inquiry.

Greene, Joss and Isaac Dalke. 2021. "'You're still an angry man': Parole boards and logics of criminalized masculinity." Theoretical Criminology 25(4): 639-662.

Dalke, Isaac. 2020. Review of Courting the Community: Legitimacy and Punishment in a Community Court by Christine Zozula. Contemporary Sociology 49(6): 547-548.