School of Criminal Justice

Christopher Kierkus


Christopher A. Kierkus
Associate Professor
Grand Valley State University
School of Criminal Justice
239-C Devos Center
401 West Fulton Street
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Telephone: (616) 331-7132
Fax: (616) 331-7155



Dr. Kierkus grew up in LaSalle, Ontario, Canada.  He did his undergraduate work at the University of Windsor, where he received his B.A. degree in Criminology.   He then completed an M.A. in Sociology at the University of Western Ontario, and a second M.A., as well as a Ph.D., in Criminal Justice at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany.  Dr. Kierkus has been teaching for approximately 15 years.

Dr. Kierkus' scholarship is focused on the role of family, gender and relationships in the causation of delinquency.   He is also interested in applied criminal justice policy issues; particularly as they relate to the effectiveness of substance abuse programs.   

Dr. Kierkus teaches a variety of courses at GVSU: including introduction to criminal justice (CJ 101), qualitative (CJ 400; 600) and quantitative (CJ 300; 606) research methods, graduate level data analysis (CJ 608), criminology (at both the undergraduate and graduate levels – CJ 201, 607), graduate program/policy evaluation (CJ 605), youth culture and crime (CJ 355), juvenile justice processes (CJ 350), crime control and justice policy (CJ 470), and the senior capstone (CJ 495).   He also supervises both graduate and undergraduate projects and theses.

Dr. Kierkus is involved in various faculty governance activities at GVSU.   At present, he is a member of the GVSU Faculty Personnel and Policy Committee and the SCJ Undergraduate Program Committee.   He is also the designated reviewer of SCJ IRB research proposals and the faculty advisor to Students for Concealed Carry (SCC).


B. R. Johnson, C. A. Kierkus and C. A. Yalda, “Who Skips? An Analysis of Bail Bond Failure to Appears.” Journal of Applied Security Research, 9, 1–16, 2014

N. M. Schmidt, C. A. Kierkus and A. J. Lizotte, “Do Firearms and Other Weapons Increase the Odds of Injury During an Assault? An Offender-Based Analysis.” Chapter for Gun Violence in American Society.  L. A. Eargle and A. M. Esmail (eds.), University Press of America Inc., Lanham, MD, In Press.

C. A. Kierkus and B. R. Johnson, “Measuring Crime.” Chapter for Justice & Society: An Introduction (Second Edition). Lightning Press, Santa Clara: CA, 159-180, 2013.

B. R. Johnson and C. A. Kierkus, “Causes of Crime.” Chapter for Justice & Society: An Introduction (Second Edition). Lightning Press, Santa Clara: CA, 115-158, 2013.

P. Gerkin and C. A. Kierkus, “What Makes a Good College Professor?   A Quantitative Analysis of Student Evaluation Forms.” Journal of Effective Teaching, 11 (2), 18-39, 2011.

C. A. Kierkus, B. R. Johnson and J. D. Hewitt, “Cohabiting, Family and Community Stressors, Selection, and Juvenile Delinquency.” Criminal Justice Review, Vol. 35 (4), 2010.   Finalist for the CJR James L. Maddex Paper of the Year Award.

B. R. Johnson, C. A. Yalda and C. A. Kierkus, “Property Crimes at O’Hare International Airport Post 9/11: The Impact of Increased Security.” Journal of Applied Security Research, 1-22, Vol. 5, 2010.


C. A. Kierkus and B. R. Johnson. “A Preliminary Look at Michigan’s Sobriety Court/Ignition Interlock Program for Repeat DWI Offenders.” Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Annual Meeting, 2013.

C. A. Kierkus and C. M. Hilinski, “A Content Analysis of “Sexting” Incidents Depicted in the Popular Media.” American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting, 2010.


B. R. Johnson and C. A. Kierkus, “20th Judicial Circuit Adult Drug Treatment Court: 2013 Process & Outcome Report.” December, 2013.

C. Kierkus and B. Johnson, “Michigan DWI/Sobriety Court Ignition Interlock Evaluation: 2013 Report.” February, 2013.

C. Kierkus and B. Johnson, “Michigan DWI/Sobriety Court Ignition Interlock Evaluation: 2012 Report.” March, 2012.

C. Kierkus. “Gun Arguments Need Evidence.” Letter to the Editor in the Grand Rapids Press. February 19, 2011.

C. Kierkus. “Implying ‘Guns are the Problem’ Overlooks Responsibility of Offenders.”  Guest Column in the Grand Rapids Press.  January 1, 2011.

C. Kierkus. “Kierkus: Carrying firearms openly is right of Michigan citizens.”  Guest Column in the Times Herald.  June 22, 2010.

C. Kierkus.  “Guns on Campus Effective Anti-Crime Policy.” Guest Editorial in the Monroe Evening News.  January 24, 2010.

C. Kierkus. “Guns on Campus a Smart Policy.” Letter to the Traverse City Record-Eagle.  January 8, 2010.


MCJ Thesis Chair: Mr. Michael Boyden, “Violent Video Game Content: A Learning Theory Perspective”, 2013.

Undergraduate Independent Study Supervision: Ms. Kaylin Haff, 2013.

MCJ Project Chair: Ms. Kelly Stone, “The Development of a Model for Profiling Demographic and Crime Rate Information for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Holland”, 2010.




Page last modified January 14, 2014