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. What are the differences in the criminal justice systems in the US, China and Japan?
  2. Can the loss of innocent lives due to the death penalty be prevented?
  3. What punishments are the most appropriate for juvenile criminals?
  4. Should Canada have an abortion law?
  5. How can false accusations caused by racial/gender discrimination be prevented?
  6. What can be done to prevent false sexual assault accusations?
  7. What are the effects of new technologies on the criminal justice system?
  8. How should the law handle false rape allegations?
  9. What are the most efficient ways to handle online crimes?
  10. Genetic theory of crimes: Is evil really born that way?
  11. Why do some minors tend to commit crimes?
  12. What inherent and discriminatory biases currently exist in law enforcement?
  13. What are three-strikes laws in criminology?
  14. Should prisons be harsher or more delicate with the inmates?
  15. Could America’s past racist chapters have affected criminal justice?
  16. What is the history of the criminal justice system?
  17. Is there a positive bias towards female criminals as opposed to male ones?
  18. Are the parents usually responsible for juvenile criminals or not?
  19. What is the difference between criminal and juvenile justice?
  20. Does redlining affect the level of crimes in a specific area?
  21. Are financially privileged areas more or less susceptible to crime?
  22. What is the parents’ role in youth probation outcomes?
  23. How should crimes committed by groups of people be addressed?
  24. Should the death penalty be abolished in states where it is legal?
  25. Does the race and terrorism relations influence the American justice system?
  26. Should juvenile criminals have a harsher or softer punishment than adult ones?
  27. How can crimes among minors be prevented or at least decreased?
  28. What is the effect of death penalty on crime rates?
  29. What are the possible and concerning flaws of gun control?
  30. In what cases is the death penalty the only appropriate measure?
  31. How should the Supreme Court interpret the Constitution?
  32. How can abuse of police authority be reduced in the US?
  33. What are the main features of criminal justice laws in California?
  34. What is the impact of forensics in the criminal justice system?
  35. How should authorities handle immigrants with a criminal record?
  36. Are there any negative biases towards religious people in criminal justice?
  37. What is the difference between crime control and due process?
  38. Why should any crimes committed by minors be taken seriously?
  39. What can be done to motivate sexual assault victims to report crimes?
  40. Should capital punishment be abolished?
  41. Should drug addicts receive harsher or softer punishments for crimes?
  42. What are the motives behind the looting of department stores?
  43. What are the main aspects of criminal justice organizations?
  44. What are usually the motives behind robbing banks and stores?
  45. Should the relatives of criminals be held accountable for their crimes?
  46. What are the major theories of crime causation?
  47. How can false accusations be prevented and addressed in criminal justice?
  48. How can disruptive and violent behavior in prisons be handled?
  49. What is the right punishment for physical and sexual child abusers?
  50. Are elderly criminals more likely to receive softer punishment than young adults?
  51. How can gun control affect crime statistics in various areas?
  52. What are the main criminal justice issues?
  53. What punishments should repeat offenders receive for their crimes?
  54. Should the punishment for cybercrimes be harsher than for real-life ones?
  55. What is the difference in the purpose of jail and prison?
  56. How should online catfishing be addressed appropriately in criminal justice?
  57. When can the death penalty prove to be unethical and counterproductive?
  58. What important periods in time caused serial killings to increase?
  59. How should professional deformation among police officers be handled?
  60. What kind of police reforms should take place in the next 5 years?
  61. What are the landmark cases in the American criminal justice system?
  62. What can be done to decrease crime statistics among immigrants?
  63. How should sexual crimes committed by minors be handled appropriately?
  64. Race and crime: Is there a correlation?
  65. Do citizens born in the US receive milder punishments than immigrants?
  66. Can peer pressure have a severe effect on juvenile crime?
  67. Should juveniles be treated as adults?
  68. Can social media be used to search for criminals or not?
  69. Should serial killers and rapists face the death penalty or life imprisonment?
  70. How can prison overcrowding be effectively mitigated?
  71. Has social media made it easier to find criminals or not?

🔎 Criminal Justice Research Paper Topics

  1. Mental illness in the criminal justice system.
  2. Describe the main driving forces for illegal activity development in the country.
  3. What are possible law interventions to cope with criminal activity?
  4. Gangs in prisons.
  5. What can lawmakers do to decrease the level of criminal activity?
  6. What actions should the government take to reduce crime rates?
  7. Social Security Act as a criminal justice policy.
  8. Which were the key areas of criminal activity in the US in the 1980-the 2000s?
  9. Describe the critical driving forces for international criminal activity in the 1990s.
  10. Judicial review practice of the Supreme Court.
  11. What did the US government do to decrease the crime rates in the 1990s?
  12. Discuss possible actions to reduce the rate of illegal drug trafficking.
  13. Criminology: Edmund Kemper.
  14. The effectiveness of community policing strategies in reducing crime rates.
  15. The impact of the bail system on criminals with low-income.
  16. Criminal justice discrimination: Foster v. Chatman.
  17. Solitary confinement in prisons and its effects on mental health.
  18. Racial profiling in law enforcement and its impact on communities.
  19. Criminal law: Public order crimes.
  20. Can restorative justice reduce recidivism rates?
  21. The use of body cameras by police officers and their impact on police accountability.
  22. White collar crimes—Effects, reasons, and law.
  23. The effectiveness of diversion programs in reducing incarceration rates.
  24. The effectiveness of risk assessment tools in predicting recidivism rates.
  25. “Tough on Crime” approach to criminal justice.
  26. The impact of private prisons on the criminal justice system.
  27. The use of juvenile detention centers and their impact on juvenile delinquency.
  28. Conjugal visitations in a prison.
  29. Wrongful convictions in the criminal justice system.
  30. The effectiveness of police training in addressing implicit bias.
  31. Criminal justice today: Purposes of criminal laws.
  32. The use of civil asset forfeiture by law enforcement agencies.
  33. The effectiveness of drug treatment programs.
  34. Issues in comparative criminal justice.
  35. The use of alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders.
  36. The impact of the death penalty on the criminal justice system.
  37. Constitutional and intellectual property cases.
  38. The effectiveness of gun control laws in reducing gun violence.
  39. The best practices for addressing police bias.
  40. Children charged with crimes: Methods of punishment.
  41. The use of victim impact statements in sentencing.
  42. The effectiveness of sex offender registries in reducing recidivism rates.
  43. Ethical issues and dilemmas in the criminal justice.
  44. The role of race and ethnicity in jury selection.
  45. What factors contribute to wrongful convictions?
  46. The 4th Amendment: The legality of searches and seizures.
  47. The use of probation and parole as alternatives to incarceration.
  48. The impact of mandatory domestic violence sentencing laws on offenders.
  49. Causes of juvenile delinquency.
  50. The use of hate crime laws to address bias-motivated crimes.
  51. The effectiveness of drug legalization in reducing drug-related crime.
  52. Issues in comparative criminal justice: Inquisitorial and adversarial systems.
  53. The use of mandatory reporting laws in cases of child abuse and neglect.
  54. The effectiveness of reentry programs in reducing recidivism rates.
  55. The problem of illegal music downloading.
  56. Can domestic violence intervention programs reduce recidivism rates?
  57. The use of technology in monitoring individuals on probation or parole.
  58. The three-strike laws: History, application, effectiveness, and criticism.
  59. The impact of pretrial detention on individuals.
  60. Can risk assessment tools determine sentence length?
  61. Management and executive leadership in criminal justice.
  62. How police body searches impact individual privacy rights?
  63. The use of victim-offender mediation in the criminal justice system.
  64. Violent gangs in poor urban areas.
  65. The impact of mandatory sentencing laws on judges’ discretion.
  66. What are the implications for the regulation of the dark web?
  67. Intelligence-led policing: Problem-oriented policing.
  68. The impact of the school-to-prison pipeline on educational outcomes.
  69. The effects of solitary confinement on mental health.
  70. The challenges of contemporary cultural diversity in criminal justice.
  71. The use of risk assessment tools in determining bail amounts.
  72. The impact of mandatory minimum sentences.
  73. Prison term policy recommendations.
  74. How does the criminal justice system respond to cybercrime and identity theft?
  75. The impact of juvenile detention centers on juvenile delinquency.
  76. High violent crime rates in the US.

🔥 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. Health information law for protection of patient privacy.
  4. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the criminal justice system.
  5. Using facial recognition technology by law enforcement agencies.
  6. Miranda vs. Arizona: U.S. Supreme Court case.
  7. Immigration detention and deportation policies.
  8. Gun control laws and regulations in response to mass shootings.
  9. National Labor Relations Board in practice.
  10. Legalization of marijuana and other drugs.
  11. The Trump administration’s immigration enforcement policies.
  12. Social factors and crime: Crime and deviance.
  13. Can body cameras increase police transparency?
  14. The criminal violations that led to the contamination of Flint’s water supply.
  15. Reasoning on the topic of crime: Ofshe’s experiment.
  16. The morale of Stand Your Ground laws.
  17. Sentencing reform: Alternatives to incarceration.
  18. Interpreting the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.
  19. Using predictive policing algorithms in criminal justice.
  20. How does school-to-prison pipeline affect minority youth?
  21. The roles of the Supreme Court and Constitution.
  22. Risk assessment tools in the criminal justice system.
  23. The Harvey Weinstein case: Sexual harassment in the entertainment industry.
  24. The layers of the American legal system.
  25. Racial bias and discrimination in the criminal justice.
  26. The advantages and disadvantages of pretrial detention.
  27. Gun control is not the answer.
  28. How does opioid epidemic affect the criminal justice system?
  29. Can diversion programs address substance abuse issues?
  30. Homicide detectives: Analyzing the position.
  31. The impact of the Black Lives Matter movement.
  32. The use of mandatory drug testing on individuals on probation.
  33. Weaknesses in the US current criminal justice system and possible recommendations.
  34. The issue of police brutality and excessive use of force.
  35. What were the underlying factors leading the creation of the NXIVM cult?
  36. Jury selection and free speech: The denial of the graffiti.
  37. The Varsity Blues scandal: factors leading to college admissions cheating scheme.
  38. Hate crime laws addressing bias-motivated crimes.
  39. Age discrimination in the Employment Act.
  40. What are the implications of the attack on the U.S. Capitol in 2021?
  41. The systemic failures that allowed Epstein to continue to abuse young women.
  42. The criminal justice system reforms in Texas.
  43. Can gang prevention programs reduce gang-related crime?
  44. The impact of the “three strikes” law on the criminal justice system.
  45. Felonies: Categories definition.
  46. The Volkswagen emissions scandal: fraud and environmental violations.
  47. Mandatory reporting laws in the reporting of sexual assault and harassment.
  48. The Line Item Veto Act: Definition.
  49. The R. Kelly case: sexual abuse and exploitation in the music industry.
  50. The impact of the #MeToo movement on criminal justice policies.
  51. Separation of powers in the Kuwaiti criminal justice system.
  52. Are drug courts an alternative to incarceration for drug offenses?
  53. Using civil asset forfeiture by law enforcement agencies.
  54. Crime, freedom and people’s safety conflict.
  55. The Golden State Killer case: the implications for improving investigative techniques.
  56. How does the criminal justice system respond to online drug trafficking?
  57. Profiling and analytical skills: Criminology.
  58. The legal and ethical violations that led Theranos’ downfall.
  59. The effects of the war on drugs on the Americal society.
  60. Managing criminal justice organizations.
  61. How the criminalization of homelessness affects vulnerable populations?
  62. The use of victim impact statements in sentencing.
  63. Criminal evidence: The case of O. J. Simpson.
  64. The criminal justice system: response to bribery in college admission.
  65. Are community-based reentry programs effective in reducing recidivism rates?
  66. Sentencing alternatives – Back to the future.
  67. Addressing the needs of individuals with mental illnesses in the criminal justice system.
  68. Do hate crime laws address crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders?
  69. Racism and the criminal justice system in the US.
  70. The effectiveness of gun buyback programs in reducing gun violence.
  71. How mandatory minimum sentences affect drug offenses?
  72. Age raising ethical questions: The juvenile cases.
  73. 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. The United Kingdom Constitution and its interpretation.
  3. Age of criminal responsibility and the corresponding type of offenses.
  4. Animal abuse and the appropriate penalization.
  5. The criminal justice system of Canada: Sources of crime data.
  6. Types of assaults and corresponding criminal punishment.
  7. Autopsy performance and reporting.
  8. Illegal immigration: Arizona v. United States case.
  9. Burglary, robbery, and theft: The differences and the criminal responsibility.
  10. The penalization for child sexual abuse by close family members.
  11. The system of courts in the United States.
  12. Requirements for the police officers for community policing.
  13. Why is compulsive gambling a legal problem and not a mental one?
  14. Research process, terminology, and criminal justice.
  15. Computer security and forensics requirements.
  16. The benefits and drawbacks of correctional psychology for criminals.
  17. Juvenile arrests in the United States.
  18. Criminal tattoos and the reasons why they affect career prospects.
  19. Does the drug type influence the penalization for the crime?
  20. Corporate crime: Overview.
  21. Consequences for drunk driving and the levels of penalization.
  22. The significance of fingerprints in forensics and further criminal investigation.
  23. Criminal justice system and its roles.
  24. The differences between first- and second-degree murder.
  25. The criticality of proper forensic identification for the court.
  26. The criminal justice procedure.
  27. The impact of forensic science on crime investigation.
  28. Homicide: The exploration of the psychological reasons for the crimes.
  29. Criminal justice system: Law enforcement.
  30. House arrest and its advantages compared to imprisonment.
  31. The penalization for identity theft and the investigations’ complexity.
  32. Criminal justice: Aspects of criminal law.
  33. Illegal gambling: Who should be punished, casinos or players?
  34. The type of criminal offenses that may result in further imprisonment.
  35. The computer forensics process.
  36. Insanity defense and its winning possibility in the court.
  37. Is kleptomania a criminal offense or a mental disorder?
  38. Legalization of marijuana in the United States.
  39. The distinctions between law enforcement in the UK and the USA.
  40. The circumstances that lead to the accused receiving legal immunity.
  41. Research methods in criminal justice.
  42. The difference in the punishment for manslaughter and single-person murder.
  43. Neoclassical criminology in today’s society.
  44. War on drugs in the United States.
  45. The distinction between neoclassical and modern criminology theories.
  46. The possibility of uncovering perfect crimes that have no forensic evidence.
  47. Criminal law: Sentencing.
  48. How is the punishment for police corruption chosen?
  49. Who should be responsible for exposing police officers’ misconduct?
  50. Discrimination in the criminal justice system.
  51. The distinction in necessary skills of police and a hospital surgeon.
  52. The difference between the penalization for local and international postal fraud.
  53. Victims and crime evaluation.
  54. The primary research and its contribution to the case investigation.
  55. The countries where prostitution is legal and its age requirements.
  56. Classical theory approach to explaining crime.
  57. Are psychoactive substances enough to declare the accused innocent?
  58. Racism in investigating rationally motivated crimes.
  59. DNA profiling in criminal justice: A case study.
  60. The probability of black people being found guilty.
  61. Remorse and its role in the development of the prisoner’s conditions.
  62. Juvenile delinquency: The juvenile correction system.
  63. The control of restraining orders outside of the court.
  64. The distinction between the punishments for sexual assault and harassment.
  65. Roe v Wade (1973): Analysis of the Supreme Court’s ruling and its impact.
  66. Responsible individuals for resolving sexual harassment between colleagues.
  67. Sexism in investigating the cases of sexual abuse.
  68. Ethics in criminal justice administration.
  69. Is street fighting the responsibility of the community policing departments?
  70. The factors that define monetary penalization for tax evasion.
  71. Theoretical views on criminal behavior.
  72. The increase in fines based on tax evasion’s severity.
  73. The reality of universal jurisdiction theories accepted around the world.
  74. Freedom of speech: Analysis of Constitutionality.
  75. The solution to the growing problem of economic crimes.
  76. The difference between the detention of juveniles and adults.
  77. The American criminal justice system and violent crimes.
  78. The means for tackling the worldwide issue of human trafficking.
  79. Power abuse among individuals in leadership positions.
  80. Transnational crime and drug trafficking.
  81. The penalizations for modern school shootings in the US.
  82. The penalization of gender bias in the legal investigation.
  83. Minority and crime: The question of justice.
  84. The issue of racism in the investigations and its punishment.
  85. The potential solutions to current problems with guns in the US.
  86. Criminal justice: Ethical dilemmas and decisions.
  87. Preventing the mass shootings of children during studying.
  88. Introduction of incentives to reduce drunk driving.
  89. Statutory rape laws.
  90. Identity theft and the complexity of the investigation.
  91. The adverse effects of unemployment on society’s safety.
  92. Juvenile delinquency and law.

📚 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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🔗 References

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