101+ Latest Criminal Justice Research Topics

According to statistics, criminal justice assignments are among the most difficult assignments. Criminal justice writing requires accuracy and appropriate sources that back up your ideas and arguments. The first step to writing a good research paper is finding a good topic. Good criminal justice research topics are hard to come by but with in-depth research and intention, there is always a topic worth exploring.

In this article, we will go over several topics in the criminal justice field. Additionally, we will offer a simple guideline on how to write a research paper.

What are the 6 major areas of criminology?

A course in criminology is designed to develop a student’s ability to think creatively, logically, and critically. By the end of the course students should have the following technical skills to apply in the field:

  • Understand the origins and causes of crime
  • Analyze and interpret criminal data
  • Examine non-violent and violent crimes
  • Understand the role of different social institutions in the criminal justice system
  • Understand criminal psychology

Here are the main areas of study for a criminology major:

  • Criminal law

Criminal law is a classification of laws that are concerned with punishing persons who commit crimes. Crimes are generally categorized into two, felonies and misdemeanors. The third type of crime is a fine-only offense.

  • Forensic psychology

Forensic psychology is the study of criminal behavior. Forensic psychologists’ main work is to profile criminals based on common psychological behaviors. They work together with law enforcement and legal officers.

  • Criminal psychology

Criminal psychology is the study of thoughts, intentions, and actions of individuals participating in criminal behavior. Criminal psychologists largely interact with court systems to explain criminal behavior.

  • Societal reactions to crime

This is the study of how members of society react to crimes. It looks at aspects such as over-criminalization and decriminalization of certain crimes.

  • Crime prevention

Crime prevention is the strengthening of the rule of law to avert crime and the promotion of fair criminal justice systems. Crime control saves money and lives that otherwise be invested in punishment. There are four approaches to crime prevention: deterrence, retribution, incarceration, and rehabilitation.

  • Sociology

The sociology of crime is the study of the creation, violation, and implementation of criminal laws. Criminologists often emphasize the sociological explanation for the basis of crimes.

Criminal justice research proposal topics

Criminal justice mainly consists of but is not limited to law enforcement. Proposal topics are concepts that you may want to explore in criminal justice for your research paper. To ensure your work remains unique, go over different research proposals and projects to see what had been done in the field. Check a list of criminal justice research topics:

  1. Analysis of a criminal’s behavior from early life influences
  2. Discuss migration policies across the world
  3. Research on improving prisoner risk assessment
  4. Comparative analysis: the fate of minors stuck in between the borders of Greece and Turkey
  5. Analytic research paper on the correlation between crime and aggression
  6. Discuss torture as a violation of human rights
  7. Is criminal behavior nature or nature?
  8. Are dysfunctional families the root cause of crime in society?
  9. Define the relationship between mental health and violence
  10. A comprehensive analysis on prevention measures utilized by law enforcement on human trafficking
  11. Depression and suicide: what role do the internet and mental health problems play in contributing to them?
  12. Theory of rational choice: validate or invalidate the theory
  13. Comparative analysis on the effects of the death penalty and normalizing imprisonment has on society
  14. Address issues surrounding violent and bias policing
  15. What could be done globally to reduce the number of prisoners?
  16. Can criminal profiling help reduce the crime rate of a city?
  17. Discuss various crime prevention technologies deployed in public spaces such as parks
  18. Comparative research: the correlation between terrorism, counter-terrorism, and gender
  19. Deviance amongst adolescents within family and society
  20. Do victims ever fully participate in the International Criminal Court?
  21. Is aggression an indicator that someone is likely to commit a crime in the future?
  22. The variation of capital punishment among men and women
  23. What could be the most significant motives for kidnapping?
  24. Discuss strategies on crime prevention

Criminal justice research topics for college students

Criminal justice is quite a popular course in college with loads of students wanting to join the field. Here is a list of criminal justice research topics for criminal justice for college research:

  1. The effectiveness of drunk driving prevention ads
  2. Effects of identity theft and social media on individuals and society
  3. The role and responsibilities of incarcerated parents
  4. Correctional methods of cybercrime
  5. Aspects of aggression towards homeless people

Criminal justice research paper topics

A research paper is an explanation of your findings after studying a topic in-depth. Below is a list of research paper topics for criminal justice:

  1. Key contradictions in social class and crime
  2. Gender neutrality versus gender responsiveness
  3. The correlation between criminal justice and social anthropology
  4. The correlation between criminal justice and social cohesion

Criminal justice topics

Below are some interesting topics that might inspire you to settle on a criminal justice subject. You can use these research topics to come up with your topic ideas:

  1. Destructive brain chemistry: can the human brain increase crime
  2. The theory of self-control
  3. Types and classes of sex offenses
  4. The roles and responsibilities of the police in society
  5. Theoretical integration
  6. Discuss the major causes of victimization
  7. What is the effectiveness of parole?
  8. Discuss the fairness of extradition law
  9. Jack the ripper: was the real serial killer caught?

Criminal justice essay topics

Criminal justice is a broad subject. Rarely would you lack something to write on an essay concerning it? Here are several  criminal justice research topic ideas:

  1. Justice and systematic bias
  2. World practices in racial profiling
  3. Corporate crime: an investigation of ruling class criminals
  4. The implications of hate crime in the justice system
  5. Crime in the field of genetics
  6. Methods of mitigating and deterring crime
  7. Do street lights modulate crime?
  8. A look at problem-solving courts

Criminological research topics

Criminological research lays emphasis on the causes and consequences of victimization, delinquency, and crime. Here is a list of criminal justice research topics for your research:

  1. Classical criminology
  2. An analysis of crime reports and statistics
  3. Symbolic interaction and labeling theories
  4. Is crime embedded in our genes: biological criminology
  5. How can we protect children from stalking and cyberbullying?
  6. The laws of parental abduction: an analytic approach
  7. Debate on the Harm principle
  8. Cultural transmission theory
  9. Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) and Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN)
  10. A summary of feminist criminology

Good research topics for criminal justice

Students often have a problem coming up with good topics for their research papers. Below is a list of criminal justice research topics open for exploration:

  1. Mass incarceration and social control
  2. Problematic issues in USA society
  3. The role of social institutions in fulfilling criminal justice
  4. Discuss moral panic as an ordinary issue or a new danger to society
  5. The role of criminal justice in curbing social engineering
  6. Discuss the consequences of public shootings
  7. Coercion and monetary fines imposed by the Western world in African countries
  8. The advantages and disadvantages of surveillance cameras
  9. Guilt society as a form of mind control

Topics in criminal justice

Criminal justice as a branch of law enforcement has a lot to write about for your assignment. Below are some interesting research topics that might inspire you:

  1. Criminological research: stages and methods
  2. Personality deformation of juvenile offenders
  3. Criminological analysis of cyber identity criminals
  4. Statistical analysis of domestic violence and murders
  5. Conservatism in the sphere of US politics
  6. An analysis of the criminal justice system in China
  7. The criminal justice system in UAE
  8. Use of DNA technology in the criminal justice system
  9. Demerits of the adversarial system
  10. Elements of group pride in the criminal justice system

Criminal justice research topics for college students

Criminal justice thesis topics

A thesis is an academic paper presented by a student on research in their field of study. Here are a few criminal justice research topics for thesis papers:

  1. Discuss the efficiency of the current justice system and suggest some reforms where there are judicial gaps
  2. What is the role of private companies in the justice system?
  3. Describe the change that would occur in the justice system if drugs were legalized
  4. Do prisoners need their rights to be obliged?
  5. Does international lawfully address war crimes?
  6. What is the role of the media in assisting law enforcement in crime prevention?
  7. The role of prosecutors and defenders in the criminal justice system
  8. Is capital punishment a useful tool in deterring crime?
  9. Describe the portrayal of the criminal justice system in mass media
  10. Discuss the role of public policy in the criminal justice system

Controversial criminal justice topics

Criminal justice is filled with controversy on certain issues where people have mixed feelings or don’t quite unanimously agree. Here are a few common controversial criminal justice research topics for research:

  1. Mental hospitals and law codes
  2. The influence of boot camps on youth offenders
  3. Characteristics of the prison-industrial complex
  4. Aspects of prostitution and human trafficking
  5. Elements of racial bias in criminal investigations in the United States
  6. Sniffer dog practice
  7. Parents are responsible for the crimes of their children
  8. Ethics of legalizing prostitution
  9. Is it ethical for hiring companies to go over employee backgrounds?
  10. Is gun control the way to curb gun violence?
  11. Are body cameras useful in law enforcement?
  12. The correlation between financial crimes and terrorism
  13. Criminalization of poverty
  14. Private prisons
  15. Correctional strategies: reform or punishment?
  16. Trends in arms and drug trafficking in the modern world
  17. Discuss the influence of contemporary music: hip hop, rap, and rock on crime
  18. The importance of eyewitness evidence in criminal justice
  19. The causes of college violence

Current criminal justice issues

Criminal justice is an ever-evolving field. Current trends in criminal justice suggest an evolution of crimes and criminal behavior. Here is a list of suggested latest research topics:

  1. Trends of digital evidence in a criminal investigation
  2. Gang identity
  3. The connection of Nigerian nationals and online fraud
  4. Transitional justice
  5. Trends and aspects of domestic violence
  6. Trends and prevention strategies of workplace harassment
  7. Legal investigations: characteristics of gender bias
  8. Civil crimes versus war crimes
  9. The correlation between cultural qualities and religious offenses
  10. Modern traits of power abuse among police officers
  11. Organized and how to prevent it
  12. Crime witnesses: rehabilitation for ADHD and PTSD witnesses

Criminal justice term paper topics

A term paper is an academic research paper written by a student over the course of the term or semester. It should showcase all that you have learned in the criminal justice field throughout the semester. A complete  list of latest criminal justice research topics:

  1. Mitigation of music piracy
  2. Effects of imprisonment: a psychological approach
  3. International conflict: deployment of child soldiers
  4. Offenses catalyzed by immigration
  5. Identification and prevention of white-collar crime
  6. Importance of legalizing cannabis Sativa
  7. Foundational principles of crime theory
  8. Police brutality and social order: criminal justice perspective
  9. Crime among military and ex-military personnel
  10. Developing nations: violation of human rights
  11. The restorative justice process
  12. Features (advantages and disadvantages) of adoption and abortion

Criminal investigation topics

Criminal investigation entails a collection of methods by which crimes are studied and criminals are placed in custody. There are three methods for investigation: comparative, descriptive, and experimental. Here are a few criminal justice research topics:

  1. Police investigation and questioning methods
  2. Fingerprint investigation analysis
  3. Criminal investigation: computer forensics
  4. Foundational principles of crime scene investigation and evidence cataloging
  5. Evidence and motives of arson
  6. Using global positioning system (GPS) for crime investigation
  7. Exclusionary rules and expectations
  8. Presentation of physical evidence in criminal justice
  9. The demerits of obtaining a DNA sample illegally
  10. Witness interview and interrogation
  11. Duties of the first officer at a crime scene
  12. Arson investigation techniques
  13. Prosecution procedure of computer crime
  14. Investigation and reporting of sexual assaults
  15. Steps to family debriefing after the death of a victim of crime
  16. An operational intelligence assessment system
  17. Types of death in a criminal investigation
  18. White lies by police officers in the criminal investigation
  19. The role of detectives in the investigation
  20. The significance of graphology and handwriting exercise

Law enforcement research topics

Law enforcement is a unit of people who implement laws, do investigations and conduct arrests. Mostly, law enforcement is comprised of police officers.

  1. Modern law enforcement and the constitution
  2. The controversy of police entrapment
  3. The ramifications of using deadly force on society
  4. Observation and interviews of fieldwork in criminology
  5. The significance of fingerprints in an investigation
  6. The foundations of police ethics in society
  7. Techniques of preventing latent crime
  8. The concept and typology of identifying a criminal

Criminal justice dissertation ideas

Writing a dissertation on criminal justice is a difficult task. Here are a few suggestions that you may want to consider for research:

  1. Is terrorism caused by religious ideologies?
  2. Comparative analysis of diseases, crime, and natural diseases and their effect on society
  3. Is the education system doing justice to shaping good morals and character?
  4. What is the role of society and school in preventing child abuse?
  5. Discuss the possibility of having a crime-free society
  6. Are militia uprisings brought about by political tensions?
  7. What is the difference between criminology and law enforcement?
  8. The unspoken crime of male rape
  9. Terrorist financing: are Islamic charities a source of funds for terrorism?
  10. Was the Black Lives Matter movement seeking justice or a source of societal violence?
  11. Discuss the evolution of counterfeiting with the advent of innovation in technology
  12. Discuss the portrayal of terrorism by the media
  13. Serial killer contributing factors

Criminal justice research questions and hypotheses

A hypothesis is a proposed question awaiting validation or invalidation on further investigation. There are generally simple, complex, and null hypotheses.

  1. What is the significance of due process in criminal justice?
  2. How can marginalized communities and minority groups have swift access to justice?
  3. Carrying a hidden weapon
  4. Edge ethnography
  5. Effectiveness of laws against stalking
  6. Decriminalization and over-criminalization
  7. Investigative analysis in prison rape and violence
  8. Crime classification systems
  9. Quantitative criminal justice
  10. The controversy surrounding the legalization of prostitution

Criminal justice thesis topics

A thesis is a declarative statement that shows the position of a paper. It asserts the perspective of the writer on the topic under study. Here are several suggested criminal justice thesis topics:

  1. The role of urban-city life in promoting school disorder
  2. The influence of age, gender, and race in judicial sentencing decisions
  3. Homicide trails among female serial killers
  4. Stress and coping strategies among law enforcement personnel
  5. When women kill
  6. Examining health conditions among inmates in correctional facilities

Criminal justice thesis examples

Thesis examples are meant to give a student guidelines on what to write on a certain topic. Here are some examples:

  1. Describe the statistics of wrongful convictions in your country, what can be done to prevent this?
  2. The correlation between drug use in the united states and the Mexican drug war. Can legalization improve violence and delinquency?
  3. Is the criminal justice system accessible and effective?
  4. Law enforcement perceptions on false accusations of sexual assault
  5. Police brutality, a division of cooperation between citizens and police officers
  6. Determining the best practices in hostage negotiations (HCN)
  7. Causes and suggestions for improving under-reporting of sexual assaults
  8. Gender disparities of the sentencing of drivers under the influence of alcohol or hard drugs
  9. Rational choice and determinism: factors establishing why inmates offend

Criminal law paper topics

Criminal law is a classification of laws that are concerned with punishing persons who commit crimes. Below are several paper topic suggestions:

  1. Methods of tracking trafficked drugs
  2. The appeal process of the international criminal court (ICC)
  3. List current international offenders and their crimes
  4. Discuss when international intervention is merited
  5. Iraq and Afghanistan: an analysis of NATO ethics
  6. Violation of human rights in South Sudan
  7. Witness protection programs
  8. Major legislation topics of the 19th century
  9. Measures of preventing wildlife crime
  10. Felon disenfranchisement
  11. The elements of corruption in organized crime
  12. War crimes perpetrated by America
  13. Describe the role and responsibilities of drug courts

Criminology topics

Criminology is the study of crime and criminal behavior. In the recent past, great interest has developed in this field in trying to understand the nature of the crime. Below is a list of criminology topics:

  1. Punishment methods for animal cruelty
  2. Protection techniques for sensitive information
  3. Psychological effects of imprisonment
  4. Describe the selection process of a jury
  5. Abuse of authority by judicial officers
  6. Policy issues among civilian review boards
  7. Critical criminology
  8. The correlation between unemployment and criminal acts
  9. The correlation between emotional intelligence and crime
  10. Art theft
  11. Theory of cultural criminology

In summary

Criminal justice is one of the toughest disciplines to study. To find good criminal justice research topics, in-depth research is required. You may pick any topic suggested in this article and use it for your research paper or use it to come up with a topic of your own.