Criminal Justice Research Paper Topics

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The criminal justice field is as old as society itself. There are people who prefer not abiding rules in every system. The judicial system is a deterrent preventing them from violating other citizens' welfare. Career building in this area is considered quite honorable and prestigious. Therefore, many young people decide to devote their lives to criminal justice and enter specialized educational institutions.

To become worthy specialists, they should pass many exams, perform numerous assignments, gain knowledge that will be put into practice in the future. If you are one of such students, choosing criminal justice topics for academic papers is not an uncommon task for you.

The information in this article can relieve you from difficulties. Read it attentively, pick up several options that seem the most interesting and relevant, propose them to your teacher and dwell on an issue which will satisfy both of you.

List of basic criminal justice topics

If you are not sure a professor will like an original research direction, it is better to choose some standard topic. It should be widely discussed on TV, in newspapers, on the Internet and, at the same time, attract you personally. It is much more enjoyable to study a phenomenon or a process that causes your lively response. If you are indifferent to an issue chosen, a reader will feel it and get bored too.

You can explore the history of a problem, make some predictions, comparisons, discoveries that will supplement the world scientific heritage, analyze the theories of other researchers. Remember that all your arguments should be backed up with quotes or real-life examples. Go to a library, surf the Internet and make sure you have enough factual material to prove a thesis – the main idea of a paper. If there are not enough proofs, better change a research direction.

The following list with criminal justice paper topics contains the most popular and interesting issues which your professor is guaranteed to appreciate:

  • The main problems of the prison system
  • Terrorism
  • The deterrence and rational choice theory
  • How school and workplace sexual offenders are punished by the law?
  • Why do men receive capital punishment more often than women?
  • Consider kidnapping and ransom cases, find common features, criminals’ motifs and behavior style
  • Public health and criminal justice
  • What measures should be taken for crime prevention?
  • How do specialists understand that a fire was started deliberately or accidentally?
  • A legal perspective of cybercrime
  • Mass media, crime, and justice
  • Review parental abduction laws
  • Experimental criminology
  • War crimes committed by the US or some other country
  • Relations between police and citizens
  • From mafia to organized crime: a comparative analysis of policing models
  • Wildlife crime and how it can be prevented
  • Discuss Miranda versus Arizona (1966) and its impact today
  • How is jury selection done?
  • Felon disenfranchisement
  • Organized crime and corruption relationship
  • Victim services
  • Prison rape and violence
  • Juvenile recidivism
  • What is forensic science? Describe its role and functions
  • Theft and shoplifting
  • Witness Protection Programme
  • Date rape and what can be done to avoid it?
  • Crimes committed due to substance abuse
  • Identity theft
  • What reforms your government can introduce to protect kids from online predators?
  • Difference between criminal and civil cases
  • What laws protect domestic abuse victims?
  • Elder abuse
  • The strain theory
  • Quantitative criminology
  • Ethics in criminal justice
  • What problems the US law enforcement should solve currently?
  • Has information sharing technology improved in fight against terrorism?
  • Serial killers’ types
  • Robbery elements and types
  • Relationship between youth arrests and drug use
  • Criminology applying in public policy
  • Relationship between aggressive behavior and crime
  • 3 social structures and crime theory
  • Inner operations of criminal justice court
  • Community corrections
  • How does sentencing take place?
  • What terms are established for different punishment types?
  • Is unwarranted arrest acceptable from the human rights perspective?
  • Human trafficking
  • Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) and Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM)
  • Racial profiling
  • Forensic evolving owing to technology use
  • Murder and homicide: similarities and differences
  • Offender classification
  • Crime mapping
  • Are female crimes different from male crimes?
  • What problems are caused by bad life conditions in prisons?
  • Who watches children of prisoners?
  • Causes of victimization
  • What are rights of a rape victim?
  • Problem-solving courts
  • What is mandatory sentencing and the three strike rules?
  • History of criminal courts
  • What motivates people to commit hate crimes?
  • Youth gangs. Why are they dangerous? How can society influence their moral principles?
  • Fieldwork in criminology
  • The place of distributive justice in criminal justice
  • Capital punishment history
  • What rights do criminals and prisoners have?
  • Campus crime
  • Parts of a criminal trial process
  • How crimes committed on a religious or racial basis are punished?
  • Cases of fraud in the scientific field. How can researchers protect their discoveries using copyright?
  • Application and effectiveness of prosecution laws
  • Crime classification systems
  • How can parents save their children from cyberbullying and cyberstalking?
  • Consider forgery cases in offices, educational institutions and other organizations, explain what laws and organizations are designed to fight forgery
  • Drug courts: how do they work?

Criminal justice controversial topics

Controversial issues imply considering several opposite points of view. You can choose an opinion that seems most logical and correct to you or simply analyze them impartially and let a reader decide which theory is more trustworthy. If you support a certain party, your decision should be objective, backed up with evidence. Here are examples of controversial topics you can explore:

  • Punishment vs. reform. Which one brings more benefits?
  • Is restorative justice model the best criminal justice tool?
  • War on drugs. Does it help to solve the drug problem?
  • Is insanity a reason for exemption from liability?
  • Should the special juvenile justice system be eliminated?
  • Should high schools and colleges develop a school based drug testing?
  • Is probation for mine offenders less expensive for the state?
  • What should and should not be allowed for better gun control?
  • Is pornography a type of sexual violence?
  • Was the real Jack the Ripper caught?
  • Is there racism in the modern justice system?
  • How can a person protect oneself from a false accusation?
  • Attitude towards concealed weapons in criminal codes of various states
  • Is there a correlation between race and crime?
  • Should sex offenders be registered in public records?
  • Is there a relationship between bad parenting and juvenile delinquencies?
  • Should all employers run a background criminal check on all new employees?
  • Are delinquency cases higher in immigrant children?
  • Can restrictive housing help decongest prisons?
  • Is community policing an effective program against home grown crimes?
  • Prostitution legalizing controversy
  • Does eyewitness testimony help to investigate crimes?
  • Boot camps for youthful offenders. Are they effective?
  • Is predictive policing effective?
  • Is selective incapacitation an effective policy for reducing crime?
  • Is there a relationship between social class and crime?

Criminal justice debate topics

criminal justice debate topics

Debate topics are focused on relevant problems which concern many people and still have no unambiguous solution:

  • Effectiveness and fairness of using a death penalty to deter crime
  • Is the extradition law fair?
  • Are trickery and deceit acceptable for investigations and interrogations?
  • Is the used of prison informants acceptable?
  • Should a death penalty be used in juveniles?
  • Are supermax prisons effective or just cruel?
  • Are there valid reasons for police shootings?
  • Should drunk drivers be given more severe punishment?
  • How can marijuana decriminalization affect business, social events, and medicine?
  • Is zero tolerance the best policy for reducing crime?
  • Is plea bargaining an acceptable way of criminal cases settling?
  • Should a Victims' Rights Amendment be added to the US Constitution?
  • Jury nullification: should jurors ever deviate from the law?
  • Does the Patriot Act threaten our civil liberties?
  • Should shaming be a criminal punishment element?
  • Should people receive mandatory prison sentences on criminal charges without parole possibility? How can this affect families of criminals, as well as employers and social structures?

Criminal justice thesis topics

An increasing number of young people want to get a degree in criminal justice. The final step on an educational path is a thesis writing. As this science is much more profound than police training, choosing good criminal justice research topics may be rather challenging. There are many interesting issues which may help you impress committee members on a defense. The main thing is to find the most suitable direction which will reflect your knowledge on a major and analytical skills.

It’s worth remembering that the world of criminal justice undergoes constant changes. A topic should be relevant, interesting to a wide circle of experts, because not only professors but also other degree seekers will read your thesis. If you are still in doubt, this list will be of great use to you:

  • The main historical twists that affected the modern world of criminal justice
  • How accessible and effective the judicial system is? What reforms can improve legal proceedings?
  • A practical orientation of a legal career taking into account huge debts people take to pay for education and become a lawyer
  • What is the role of private companies in the public criminal justice system?
  • What would the criminal justice field look like today if all drugs were legalized?
  • Should sex offenders be registered in public records?
  • How can offender reentry be made seamless to the society?
  • Should law enforcement representatives wear cameras to monitor their actions? How can this affect work of the judicial system and law enforcement agencies?
  • Why do most people who serve their sentences once become criminals again?
  • Are strategies used to deter or stop criminal behavior effective enough?
  • Consider instances of unlawful force use by law representatives. Do criminals deserve such cruelty? Conduct a comparative analysis of police treatment in different countries
  • How accurately do movies, television, and novels depict the criminal justice system?
  • Influence of people making public policy decisions on the criminal justice system
  • Write about innocent people serving their sentences because of judges' mistakes. What should be done to prevent this?
  • Relationship between Mexican drug war and drug use in the United States. How can legalization change today’s violence amount?
  • What determines accuracy of predicting criminal activities?

We hope that the above information turned out to be useful and you will find worthy topic for your research paper. If there are any problems with assignment preparing, you can always turn to a cheap research paper writing service for help and advice. We will share our knowledge or write a tricky assignment for you.


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