Isaac Dalke

Isaac Dalke

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

My dissertation research takes a multifaceted approach to understanding community-based violence prevention efforts. What shapes where it happens, who does it, and what it consists of? 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 delivering services and implementing interventions. My work is supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. I am also affiliated with the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues.

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. Connecting all of this work to my dissertation are questions about how different actors within and outside of the criminal-legal system manage and make sense of violence. 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 monitoring, community development, and education research. I can be reached at

Work in Progress
Dalke, Isaac. "I come before you a changed man: 'Insight,' Compliance, and Refurbishing Penal Practice in California"

Dalke, Isaac and Joss Greene. "Prerequisites and Pathways: How Social Categorization Helps Administrators Determine Moral Worth."

Published Work
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.