Dr. Chermak On Two Research Teams with NIJ Funding

November 5, 2020

Photo of Dr. Steve ChermakDr. Steve Chermak is part of two research teams that have received funding from the National Institute of Justice.

The first project is titled Investigating Root Causes of School Violence: A Case Control Study of School Violence Offenders, Non-School Youth Violence Offenders, and Non-Offending Youths. The team of researchers (consisting of Dr. Steve Chermak, Dr. Joshua Frelich, and Dr. Brent Klein) will compare a sample of 250 adolescent school shooter cases between 1990 and 2020 to two groups: 250 non-school youth violent offenders and 250 non-offending youths who attended the same school as the shooter. Dr. Chermak says the goal of this project is to “identify the potential root causes and related factors that contribute to school violence” and that their findings will be used to promote student and school safety.

For the second project, Dr. Chermak will be working with Dr. Joshua Frelich and Dr. Arun Ross are seeking to better understand the various pathways that lead to extremism and extremist behaviors. The project, titled Examining Radicalization’s Risk and Protective Factors: A Case-Control Study of Violent Extremists, Non-Criminal Extremists & Regular Homicide and Attempted Homicide Offenders will compare approximately 500 jihadist, far-right, and far-left extremists who committed (or planned to commit) an ideologically motivated crime with 250 non-criminal extremists and 250 regular violent offenders who lived in the same area. This study, which will be the first of its kind, will add to the understanding of risk and factors surrounding violent extremism. The team plans on sharing their findings with law enforcement officials, local leaders and policymakers to help develop innovating solutions for mitigating the domestic pathways to terrorism.