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Criminal Justice Research Paper Topics

Academic writing


The criminal justice field is as old as society itself. Unfortunately, there are people who prefer not abiding by rules in every country. The judicial system is a factor that deters 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 educational institutions that specialize in this field.

In order to become competent professionals, students have to pass many exams, do numerous assignments, and obtain knowledge that will be used in the future. If you are among them, choosing criminal justice topics for academic papers is a usual task for you.

The tips provided in this article will help you in overcoming difficulties that may occur while working on the paper. Read it carefully and pick up several options that seem the most interesting to you.

List of basic criminal justice topics

Analyzing the criminal justice system and its impact on society and public safety is always intriguing. Learn more about the criminal justice field of nutrition and dietetics with some of the following criminal justice literature review topics:

  • The main problems of the prison system
  • 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?
  • Considering kidnapping and ransom cases, find common features, criminals’ motifs, and behavior style
  • Principles of crime prevention
  • How do professionals understand that a person fired off deliberately or accidentally?
  • A legal perspective of cybercrime
  • Mass media, crime, and justice
  • Review parental abduction laws
  • Experimental criminology
  • Wildlife crime and how it can be prevented
  • Discuss Miranda versus Arizona (1966) and its impact today
  • How is jury selection performed?
  • 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 Program
  • Date rape, and what can be done to avoid it?
  • Crimes committed due to substance abuse
  • Identity theft
  • What changes 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
  • Ethics in criminal justice
  • What problems US law enforcement should solve currently? 
  • Has information sharing technology been improved in the fight against terrorism?
  • Serial killers’ types
  • Relationship between youth arrests and drug use
  • Link between aggressive behavior and crime
  • 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)
  • Forensic evolving owing to technology use
  • Murder, manslaughter, and homicide: similarities and differences
  • Offender classification
  • Crime mapping
  • Are female crimes different from male crimes?
  • What problems are caused by bad living conditions in prisons?
  • Causes of victimization
  • What are the 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?

If you are not sure that your professor will like an original research direction, it is better to choose some standard topic. It can be widely discussed on TV, in newspapers, or on the Internet. And of course, you have to be really interested in this issue. It is much more enjoyable to study a phenomenon or a process that resonates with you. If you are indifferent to the topic chosen, your reader will feel it and get bored too.

You can explore the background of a problem, make some predictions, comparison, and discoveries that will supplement the world scientific heritage. Remember that all your arguments should be backed up with quotes or real-life examples. You may go to a library or surf the Internet to gather enough factual material to prove a thesis – the main idea of a paper. If there are not enough proofs, then it’s better to change a research direction.

Criminal justice controversial topics

Controversial issues presuppose considering several opposite points of view. You can choose an opinion that seems the most logical to you or simply analyze all of the viewpoints impartially and let your reader decide which one is more trustworthy. If you support a certain party, your decision should be objective and 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?
  • 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 delinquency?
  • Should all employers run a criminal background check on all new employees?
  • Are delinquency cases higher among immigrant children?
  • Can restrictive housing help decongest prisons?
  • Is community policing an effective program against homegrown crimes?
  • Prostitution legalization 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 link between social class and crime?

Criminal justice debate topics

criminal justice debate topics

Debate topics are focused on the current issues people are concerned about, and such problems still have no single solution. Here are some topics on controversial matters:

  • 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 cooperation with prison informants acceptable?
  • Should a death penalty be used for 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

Many young people dream of getting a degree in criminal justice. However, the final step on any educational path is always 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 your professor. The main thing is to find the most suitable direction which will reflect your knowledge on a major and show your analytical skills.

It’s worth remembering that the world of criminal justice undergoes constant changes. A topic should be relevant and interesting to the broad audience since 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?
  • 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 society?
  • Should law enforcement representatives wear cameras? How can this affect the 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?
  • Consider instances of unlawful force used 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
  • How many people were wrongly convicted in your country? What should be done to prevent this?
  • Relationship between the Mexican drug war and drug use in the United States. How can legalization change today’s violence and delinquency level?

We hope that the above information is useful, and you will find a worthy topic for your research paper. If there are any issues with the assignment preparation, you can always turn to research paper writing service for help and advice. We will share our knowledge or complete any tricky assignment for you.


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