Heather M. Harris is a Social Science Matrix Postdoctoral Researcher, working under David Harding in the Sociology Department at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on the development and integration of large administrative data sets to study the consequences criminal justice sanctions have for reoffending and health. In her postdoctoral research, Heather works in collaboration with Dr. Harding and Jeffrey Morenoff at the University of Michigan to direct a study of the transition to adulthood in a formerly incarcerated population in Michigan.
Heather completed her doctorate in Criminology and Criminal Justice under the direction of Peter Reuter at the University of Maryland in 2014. Her dissertation, which used the local instrumental variables method to examine whether and how cellmates impact reoffending in Pennsylvania, was funded through the Graduate Research Fellowship Program of the National Institute of Justice. As part of that work, she interviewed dozens of inmates and correctional personnel to better understand the development and evolution of inmate relationships. In 2014, Heather’s work with Lawrence Sherman on the long-term effects of arrest for domestic violence in Milwaukee received the Award for Outstanding Field Trial from the Division of Experimental Criminology of the American Society of Criminology. Also in her graduate school career, Heather was selected as a RAND Summer Associate and a participant in the Bureau of Justice Statistics Summer Program in Quantitative Analysis of Crime and Criminal Justice Data at ICPSR. Before beginning her doctoral studies, Heather worked on the Human Genome Project at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and on the Chandra XRAY Observatory project at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. In addition to her doctorate, Heather holds a Master's degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor's degree in Astronomy from the University of Massachusetts.