Steven M. Chermak

Steven M. Chermak

Steven M. Chermak

  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Law Enforcement Intelligence and Analysis


Steven M. Chermak is a professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. Dr. Chermak is interested in studying terrorism, school shootings, mass shootings, criminal justice organizations, and media coverage of crime and criminal justice. Much of his work in the last ten years has focused on terrorist and extremist activity. He and several colleagues are responsible for building the Extremist Crime Database (ECDB), one of the leading databases on domestic terrorism activities in the US. The ECDB has allowed him to publish articles understanding patterns of violence of far right, far left, and al-Qaeda inspired extremists, documenting how lone wolf attacks are different than group-inspired terrorist attacks, and examining the characteristics of foiled terrorist plots. More recently, he and colleagues have received funding to build another database on fatal and non-fatal school shootings. This database is in the final stages of completion, and it will provide an opportunity to better understand the characteristics of perpetrators that commit school violence and discuss differences in schools victimized by fatal and non-fatal attacks.

Dr. Chermak’s research has been funded by the Department of Homeland Security, National Institute of Justice, and the Michigan State Police. He has published two books, seven edited books, and numerous research reports. His research has appeared in a number of journals including Journal of Quantitative Criminology, Criminology and Public Policy, Justice Quarterly, Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management, Journal of Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice Policy Review, and the Journal of Crime, Conflict, and the Media.

Selected Awards

  • Bruce Smith Sr. Award, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS), 2015
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, The University at Albany, 2003
  • Best of BGSU Accomplished Graduate Award, 2002

Selected Publications

  • Chermak, S., Freilich, J., Hayes, B., Henry, T.K. (2018). Comparison of Honor Killings to Anti-LGBTQ Homicides. Journal of Aggression, Conflict, and Peace Research.
  • Chermak, S., Freilich, J., Guenewald, J., Klein, B. (2018). A Mixed Method Examination of Law Enforcement Investigatory Strategies Used in Jihadi and Far-Right Foiled Terrorist Plots Before and After 9/11. Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice & Criminology.
  • Chermak, S., Freilich, J., Hayes, B., Mills, C. (2017). Are Honor Killings Unique? A Comparison of Honor Killings, Domestic Violence Homicides and Hate Homicides by Far-Right Extremists. Homicide Studies, 1–22.