324 Criminal Justice Research Topics

324 Criminal Justice Research Topics

Criminal justice is a set of rules and laws created to hold people accountable for their offenses. Police, lawyers, courts, and other authorities take part in establishing criminal proceedings and punishment.

Criminal justice consists of three dimensions:

  • Law enforcement is a branch that focuses on enforcing the government’s rules, apprehending violators, and preventing crime.
  • The court system is a branch responsible for prosecuting criminal cases and protecting victims and witnesses.
  • Punishment & rehabilitation is a branch that works with correctional institutions to punish law offenders.

On this page, our expert team collected the most spectacular topics for a paper on criminal justice. You can find a title for an essay, research paper, thesis, and other assignments.

🔝 Top-12 Criminal Justice Topics

  1. Capital punishment.
  2. Racial terrorism.
  3. Serial killers.
  4. Police officers & ethics.
  5. International criminal law.
  6. The Juvenile Justice System Act of 2018.
  7. The Black Lives Matter movement.
  8. Correction methods in prisons.
  9. Cyberbullying & the justice system.
  10. Forensic science in investigating crimes.
  11. Recidivism rates 2024.
  12. Should guns be allowed?

❓ Criminal Justice Research Questions

  1. Can the loss of innocent lives due to the death penalty be prevented?
  2. What punishments are the most appropriate for juvenile criminals?
  3. How can false accusations caused by racial/gender discrimination be prevented?
  4. What can be done to prevent false sexual assault accusations?
  5. How should the law handle false rape allegations?
  6. What are the most efficient ways to handle online crimes?
  7. Why do some minors tend to commit crimes?
  8. What inherent and discriminatory biases currently exist in law enforcement?
  9. Should prisons be harsher or more delicate with the inmates?
  10. Could America’s past racist chapters have affected criminal justice?
  11. Is there a positive bias towards female criminals as opposed to male ones?
  12. Are the parents usually responsible for juvenile criminals or not?
  13. Does redlining affect the level of crimes in a specific area?
  14. Are financially privileged areas more or less susceptible to crime?
  15. How should crimes committed by groups of people be addressed?
  16. Should the death penalty be abolished in states where it is legal?
  17. Should juvenile criminals have a harsher or softer punishment than adult ones?
  18. How can crimes among minors be prevented or at least decreased?
  19. What are the possible and concerning flaws of gun control?
  20. In what cases is the death penalty the only appropriate measure?
  21. How can abuse of police authority be reduced in the US?
  22. What are the main features of criminal justice laws in California?
  23. How should authorities handle immigrants with a criminal record?
  24. Are there any negative biases towards religious people in criminal justice?
  25. Why should any crimes committed by minors be taken seriously?
  26. What can be done to motivate sexual assault victims to report crimes?
  27. Should drug addicts receive harsher or softer punishments for crimes?
  28. What are the motives behind the looting of department stores?
  29. What are usually the motives behind robbing banks and stores?
  30. Should the relatives of criminals be held accountable for their crimes?
  31. How can false accusations be prevented and addressed in criminal justice?
  32. How can disruptive and violent behavior in prisons be handled?
  33. Are elderly criminals more likely to receive softer punishment than young adults?
  34. How can gun control affect crime statistics in various areas?
  35. What punishments should repeat offenders receive for their crimes?
  36. Should the punishment for cybercrimes be harsher than for real-life ones?
  37. How should online catfishing be addressed appropriately in criminal justice?
  38. When can the death penalty prove to be unethical and counterproductive?
  39. How should professional deformation among police officers be handled?
  40. What kind of police reforms should take place in the next 5 years?
  41. What can be done to decrease crime statistics among immigrants?
  42. How should sexual crimes committed by minors be handled appropriately?
  43. Do citizens born in the US receive milder punishments than immigrants?
  44. Can peer pressure have a severe effect on juvenile crime?
  45. Can social media be used to search for criminals or not?
  46. Should serial killers and rapists face the death penalty or life imprisonment?
  47. Has social media made it easier to find criminals or not?

🔎 Criminal Justice Research Paper Topics

  1. Describe the main driving forces for illegal activity development in the country.
  2. What are possible law interventions to cope with criminal activity?
  3. What can lawmakers do to decrease the level of criminal activity?
  4. What actions should the government take to reduce crime rates?
  5. Which were the key areas of criminal activity in the US in the 1980-the 2000s?
  6. Describe the critical driving forces for international criminal activity in the 1990s.
  7. What did the US government do to decrease the crime rates in the 1990s?
  8. Discuss possible actions to reduce the rate of illegal drug trafficking.
  9. The effectiveness of community policing strategies in reducing crime rates.
  10. The impact of the bail system on criminals with low-income.
  11. Solitary confinement in prisons and its effects on mental health.
  12. Racial profiling in law enforcement and its impact on communities.
  13. Can restorative justice reduce recidivism rates?
  14. The use of body cameras by police officers and their impact on police accountability.
  15. The effectiveness of diversion programs in reducing incarceration rates.
  16. The effectiveness of risk assessment tools in predicting recidivism rates.
  17. The impact of private prisons on the criminal justice system.
  18. The use of juvenile detention centers and their impact on juvenile delinquency.
  19. Wrongful convictions in the criminal justice system.
  20. The effectiveness of police training in addressing implicit bias.
  21. The use of civil asset forfeiture by law enforcement agencies.
  22. The effectiveness of drug treatment programs.
  23. The use of alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders.
  24. The impact of the death penalty on the criminal justice system.
  25. The effectiveness of gun control laws in reducing gun violence.
  26. The best practices for addressing police bias.
  27. The use of victim impact statements in sentencing.
  28. The effectiveness of sex offender registries in reducing recidivism rates.
  29. The role of race and ethnicity in jury selection.
  30. What factors contribute to wrongful convictions?
  31. The use of probation and parole as alternatives to incarceration.
  32. The impact of mandatory domestic violence sentencing laws on offenders.
  33. The use of hate crime laws to address bias-motivated crimes.
  34. The effectiveness of drug legalization in reducing drug-related crime.
  35. The use of mandatory reporting laws in cases of child abuse and neglect.
  36. The effectiveness of reentry programs in reducing recidivism rates.
  37. Can domestic violence intervention programs reduce recidivism rates?
  38. The use of technology in monitoring individuals on probation or parole.
  39. The impact of pretrial detention on individuals.
  40. Can risk assessment tools determine sentence length?
  41. How police body searches impact individual privacy rights?
  42. The use of victim-offender mediation in the criminal justice system.
  43. The impact of mandatory sentencing laws on judges’ discretion.
  44. What are the implications for the regulation of the dark web?
  45. The impact of the school-to-prison pipeline on educational outcomes.
  46. The effects of solitary confinement on mental health.
  47. The use of risk assessment tools in determining bail amounts.
  48. The impact of mandatory minimum sentences.
  49. How does the criminal justice system respond to cybercrime and identity theft?
  50. The impact of juvenile detention centers on juvenile delinquency.

🔥 Hot Topics in Criminal Justice

  1. Police reform in response to the George Floyd and Breonna Taylor killings.
  2. Criminal justice reform bills at the state level.
  3. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the criminal justice system.
  4. Using facial recognition technology by law enforcement agencies.
  5. Immigration detention and deportation policies.
  6. Gun control laws and regulations in response to mass shootings.
  7. Legalization of marijuana and other drugs.
  8. The Trump administration’s immigration enforcement policies.
  9. Can body cameras increase police transparency?
  10. The criminal violations that led to the contamination of Flint’s water supply.
  11. The morale of Stand Your Ground laws.
  12. Sentencing reform: Alternatives to incarceration.
  13. Using predictive policing algorithms in criminal justice.
  14. How does school-to-prison pipeline affect minority youth?
  15. Risk assessment tools in the criminal justice system.
  16. The Harvey Weinstein case: Sexual harassment in the entertainment industry.
  17. Racial bias and discrimination in the criminal justice.
  18. The advantages and disadvantages of pretrial detention.
  19. How does opioid epidemic affect the criminal justice system?
  20. Can diversion programs address substance abuse issues?
  21. The impact of the Black Lives Matter movement.
  22. The use of mandatory drug testing on individuals on probation.
  23. The issue of police brutality and excessive use of force.
  24. What were the underlying factors leading the creation of the NXIVM cult?
  25. The Varsity Blues scandal: factors leading to college admissions cheating scheme.
  26. Hate crime laws addressing bias-motivated crimes.
  27. What are the implications of the attack on the U.S. Capitol in 2021?
  28. The systemic failures that allowed Epstein to continue to abuse young women.
  29. Can gang prevention programs reduce gang-related crime?
  30. The impact of the “three strikes” law on the criminal justice system.
  31. The Volkswagen emissions scandal: fraud and environmental violations.
  32. Mandatory reporting laws in the reporting of sexual assault and harassment.
  33. The R. Kelly case: sexual abuse and exploitation in the music industry.
  34. The impact of the #MeToo movement on criminal justice policies.
  35. Are drug courts an alternative to incarceration for drug offenses?
  36. Using civil asset forfeiture by law enforcement agencies.
  37. The Golden State Killer case: the implications for improving investigative techniques.
  38. How does the criminal justice system respond to online drug trafficking?
  39. The legal and ethical violations that led Theranos’ downfall.
  40. The effects of the war on drugs on the Americal society.
  41. How the criminalization of homelessness affects vulnerable populations?
  42. The use of victim impact statements in sentencing.
  43. The criminal justice system: response to bribery in college admission.
  44. Are community-based reentry programs effective in reducing recidivism rates?
  45. Addressing the needs of individuals with mental illnesses in the criminal justice system.
  46. Do hate crime laws address crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders?
  47. The effectiveness of gun buyback programs in reducing gun violence.
  48. How mandatory minimum sentences affect drug offenses?
  49. The Panama Papers: financial fraud and money laundering.

🔤 Easy Criminal Justice Essay Topics

  1. The reasons for the appointed age of consent for sexual intercourse.
  2. Age of criminal responsibility and the corresponding type of offenses.
  3. Animal abuse and the appropriate penalization.
  4. Types of assaults and corresponding criminal punishment.
  5. Autopsy performance and reporting.
  6. Burglary, robbery, and theft: The differences and the criminal responsibility.
  7. The penalization for child sexual abuse by close family members.
  8. Requirements for the police officers for community policing.
  9. Why is compulsive gambling a legal problem and not a mental one?
  10. Computer security and forensics requirements.
  11. The benefits and drawbacks of correctional psychology for criminals.
  12. Criminal tattoos and the reasons why they affect career prospects.
  13. Does the drug type influence the penalization for the crime?
  14. Consequences for drunk driving and the levels of penalization.
  15. The significance of fingerprints in forensics and further criminal investigation.
  16. The differences between first- and second-degree murder.
  17. The criticality of proper forensic identification for the court.
  18. The impact of forensic science on crime investigation.
  19. Homicide: The exploration of the psychological reasons for the crimes.
  20. House arrest and its advantages compared to imprisonment.
  21. The penalization for identity theft and the investigations’ complexity.
  22. Illegal gambling: Who should be punished, casinos or players?
  23. The type of criminal offenses that may result in further imprisonment.
  24. Insanity defense and its winning possibility in the court.
  25. Is kleptomania a criminal offense or a mental disorder?
  26. The distinctions between law enforcement in the UK and the USA.
  27. The circumstances that lead to the accused receiving legal immunity.
  28. The difference in the punishment for manslaughter and single-person murder.
  29. Neoclassical criminology in today’s society.
  30. The distinction between neoclassical and modern criminology theories.
  31. The possibility of uncovering perfect crimes that have no forensic evidence.
  32. How is the punishment for police corruption chosen?
  33. Who should be responsible for exposing police officers’ misconduct?
  34. The distinction in necessary skills of police and a hospital surgeon.
  35. The difference between the penalization for local and international postal fraud.
  36. The primary research and its contribution to the case investigation.
  37. The countries where prostitution is legal and its age requirements.
  38. Are psychoactive substances enough to declare the accused innocent?
  39. Racism in investigating rationally motivated crimes.
  40. The probability of black people being found guilty.
  41. Remorse and its role in the development of the prisoner’s conditions.
  42. The control of restraining orders outside of the court.
  43. The distinction between the punishments for sexual assault and harassment.
  44. Responsible individuals for resolving sexual harassment between colleagues.
  45. Sexism in investigating the cases of sexual abuse.
  46. Is street fighting the responsibility of the community policing departments?
  47. The factors that define monetary penalization for tax evasion.
  48. The increase in fines based on tax evasion’s severity.
  49. The reality of universal jurisdiction theories accepted around the world.
  50. The solution to the growing problem of economic crimes.
  51. The difference between the detention of juveniles and adults.
  52. The means for tackling the worldwide issue of human trafficking.
  53. Power abuse among individuals in leadership positions.
  54. The penalizations for modern school shootings in the US.
  55. The penalization of gender bias in the legal investigation.
  56. The issue of racism in the investigations and its punishment.
  57. The potential solutions to current problems with guns in the US.
  58. Preventing the mass shootings of children during studying.
  59. Introduction of incentives to reduce drunk driving.
  60. Identity theft and the complexity of the investigation.
  61. The adverse effects of unemployment on society’s safety.

📚 How to Select a Topic in Criminal Justice

Selecting a topic in criminal justice is a challenging task. Since the area is quite broad, college students may get too overwhelmed with options. That’s why we have collected the most valuable tips in one place. With them, picking the best idea will be as easy as it gets!

  • Focus on your area of interest. Writing an essay on the issue that you are excited about is pleasurable and intriguing. So, consider what you are interested in regarding criminal justice and choose accordingly.
  • Make sure your topic is manageable. To write a high-quality paper, you should find a topic neither too broad nor too narrow. Research the chosen idea briefly to establish its scope. Decide whether you can develop it properly, find enough information, and come up with suitable examples. You can rephrase the title until you’re sure of its focus and clarity.
  • Meet the assignment’s requirements. Review your notes and the professor’s suggestions. A successful essay should fully correspond to the task description.
  • Share your ideas. If you’re unsure about your criminal justice essay topic, discuss it with your friends, classmates, or instructor. They may have valuable suggestions for you. Or they can explain why this idea isn’t suitable for the task.
  • Follow the who-what-when-where-why framework:
    • WHO provides information on your topic (agencies, publishers, newspapers, magazines, etc.)?
    • WHAT key arguments (key points) will you include in your essay?
    • WHEN is/was your topic significant? Does it cover the current problems or historical issues?
    • WHERE is your topic relevant (on a local, national, or international) level?
    • WHY did you end up with this topic? Is it interesting, significant, critical, etc.?
  • Think of the thesis statement. It’s the last but the most crucial step. Consider whether you can develop a clear, straightforward thesis statement on the chosen topic. It should reflect your position and include the key points. Without it, you can’t write a comprehensive paper.

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