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Top 110 Criminal Justice Research Topics

Written by Helen Burgos
Posted: December 17, 2021
Last update date: March 22, 2024
10 min read

What is a research paper in criminal justice?

The best way to gain more data or information is via research. Research is an important tool that can be used in the subject one is studying and criminal justice research paper topics. A paper in criminal justice is comprehensive writing by scholars to argue for a situation, usually criminal. This paper is different from other types of research papers It requires an investigation of case studies and real-life situations. Many research paper topics on criminal justice can help students write their essays.

Research on criminal justice helps students and professionals alike to gain an in-depth understanding of the field. It also helps government officials who work in law enforcement, discipline, and crime prevention to do their job well.

In-depth study or research on criminal justice helps bridge the rift between the existing practice within the profession. The progression in recent knowledge.

Criminal justice research enables students to become critical thinkers. This makes them evaluate policies based on evidence and facts.

Criminal justice research topic ideas also inspire scholars to challenge intrinsic prejudice. Also, assumptions by cross-checking data objectively. Students may not always have the time to write their research papers by themselves. This can be due to loads of other assignments and impending deadlines. They can easily buy a research paper for their coursework in such situations. This article looks at many paper topics in criminal justice.

Here is a list of captivating and provoking criminal justice research proposal topics that students can work on. PapersOwl experts can help with choosing the best topic and writing a stunning paper.

Basic Criminal Justice Research Topics

When it comes to choosing research topics, students can easily run out of ideas. These are easy criminal justice research topics for college students.

  1. How reliable is eyewitness testimony? Should eyewitness statements be allowed in court? Who should be considered an eyewitness?
  2. The relationship between police and people of different races. Does the media present police violence against people of colour appropriately?
  3. Methods for preventing international drug trafficking. How should law enforcement agencies handle trafficking cases? What should be the punishment for drug trafficking?
  4. Crime during emergencies. Do public emergencies give room for criminal activities?
  5. Gender disparity in the criminal justice system. How can both genders be treated fairly? To what extent can gender equality be exercised?
  6. Solitary confinement. What is the impact of solitary confinement on prisoners?
  7. The efficiency of drug courts. Do drug courts help or hurt addicts?
  8. Domestic violence. Why are women more likely to be victims? What should happen to minors of abusive parents?
  9. Capital punishment. Is capital punishment a violation of human rights? What crimes deserve capital punishment?
  10. Bail. What criminal offenses should be granted bail? What is the maximum that can be charged as bail?

Controversial Criminal Justice Research Topics

Certain topics lead to controversies in the field. Controversial topics should be able to lead to extensive discussions on the situation. Students who have a tough time choosing a topic can find research papers for sale online. Some controversial criminal justice topics include:

  1. Cyberbullying. Where should the line be drawn between freedom of speech and cyberbullying?
  2. Jail structures. Why and how should female jails differ from male ones? What are the dangers of mixed prisons?
  3. Hate crime. What is the history of hate crime in the United States of America? How severe should the punishment for hate crimes be?
  4. Serial killers. Should serial killers be tried as mentally unstable? Should serial killers be charged with capital punishment?
  5. Juvenile crimes. Should minors be sent to jail? Should minors be charged with the death penalty? Is an 18-year-old an adult?
  6. Pornography. Can pornography be considered sexual abuse? Can porn sites be sued for pop-up pornographic images and ads?
  7. Police shootings. In what situations are the police allowed to shoot? What is the punishment for shooting an innocent person?
  8. Carrying concealed weapons. Should there be punishment for carrying weapons? What is considered self-defence?
  9. Murder and homicide. What is the difference between murder and homicide? Should the punishment for murder and homicide be equal?
  10. Reform vs. punishment: which one has more benefits?

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Criminal Justice Research Topics to Provoke Debate

There are research topics for criminal justice topic ideas that lead to debate and analysis. Such topics make sense from different angles, depending on your perspective. Examples of topics that spring debates are:

  1. Self-defense. Where to draw the line between self-defense and premeditated crime. Should there be a punishment for self-defense?
  2. Prostitution. Should prostitution be considered a crime? Should there be a minimum wage for prostitutes?
  3. Stalking. Should stalking be considered a violation of human rights? Should stalking punishable by the law?
  4. Child abuse. What is the line between discipline and child abuse? Should the state take minors away from abusive parents?
  5. Sexual abuse. Should BDSM be considered sexual abuse? Can sexual abuse occur between a married couple?
  6. The impact of prison on children of incarcerated individuals. Who cares for the children of incarcerated people? How does foster and kinship care affect these children?
  7. Media. To what extent should the media show domestic violence?
  8. Drunk driving is a serious offense. What should be the penalty for driving when inebriated? Should an intoxicated driver be charged with first-degree murder in the event of a tragic accident?
  9. Body camera. Is the use of body cams by the police an intrusion of privacy?
  10. Homicide and murder. Is homicide murder?

Criminology Research Topics

Criminology topic ideas will help students understand crime theories better. Below are topics are drawn from different areas of criminology.

  1. What have ex-convicts to say about criminology for convicts? Is the state prepared to assist ex-convicts who have completed their sentences?
  2. Is punishment a deterrence to crime in criminal justice theory?
  3. False conceptions about crime and criminal justice are debunked through media criminology. Fake news and how to handle it.
  4. Criminality is a result of culture, according to cultural criminology. What kinds of cultural traditions are compatible with criminal behaviour?
  5. According to cultural transmission theory, how are criminal norms conveyed in social contact?
  6. Does fear of penalty deter individuals from committing crimes? Is that anything that should be taken into account in a court of law?
  7. The rational choice theory explains how the perpetrator’s personal goals are connected with their criminal behaviour.
  8. How prevalent criminal theories marginalize women, according to feminist criminology.
  9. Minorities and people who deviate from social norms are negatively branded.
  10. Life-course criminology is the study of how events in one’s life influence criminal behaviour.

Criminal Justice System Research Topics

This criminal justice research topic enables students to investigate the judicial system and evaluate the current policies. Some of these criminal justice research questions include:

  1. Firing gun: how to determine whether it was deliberate or happened by accident? On what grounds should the police fire a gun.
  2. Cybercrime: what is the legal perspective of cybercrime? Is cyberbullying a cybercrime?
  3. Internet vigilantism: can revenge leaks be considered a criminal offence.
  4. Hate crime on the Internet: what are the policies against revenge leaks, trolling, and defamation?
  5. Crime and justice in mass media. How does the media influence the system?
  6. Kidnapping and ransom: what are common features and behaviour patterns?
  7. Sex offender registry: what are the pros and cons?
  8. The theories of deterrence rational choice: are they relevant in the modern justice system?
  9. Sexual assault. What is the punishment for sexual assault in schools and workplaces?
  10. Jury selection: how is it performed? What is the requirement for selecting members?

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International Crimes Research Topics

This criminal justice research topic has to do with domestic criminal laws and international crimes. Here are examples of international crimes topics for criminal justice research.

  1. International Criminal Court (ICC): The role of the ICC in the fight against crimes against humanity.
  2. International intervention. Define and analyze the effectiveness of intervention with examples.
  3. War crimes. How are other states tried for committing a crime against humanity in another state?
  4. Plea bargaining in international criminal law.
  5. International justice and peace. How can countries and international organizations make the world more just and peaceful? How should international organizations intervene in countries’ situations?
  6. International justice and human rights violations. What is a just society in the global context?
  7. International criminal law. What are the history, source, and objectives of international criminal laws?
  8. Feminism. A feminist’s point of view of international criminal laws.
  9. Child soldiers in Africa. Discuss the facts, history, and why they become soldiers at that age.
  10. International criminal laws treaties. Research various international criminal laws treaties and tell your reader what they entail.

Racism and Discrimination Criminal Justice Research Topics

The issues of racism and discrimination are still prevalent in society. The following topics can be researched to investigate the situation appropriately.

  1. Systemic bias. How does it affect criminal justice as well as the system?
  2. Minority groups. How is criminal justice affected by the discriminatory depiction of minorities in the media?
  3. Racial profiling: how minority groups are targeted based on ethnicity and race.
  4. African-Americans: how are racism and discrimination more towards them?
  5. Racial profiling: The disadvantages.
  6. The UK Court System. Is the UK court system discriminatory?
  7. The US Court System. Is the US court system discriminatory?
  8. Class Discrimination. What is societal class discrimination?
  9. Does the crime rate depend on the neighbourhood?
  10. Corporate crime: who constitutes the ruling class? What are corporate crimes?

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Court Cases Research Topics

There are common criminal cases that are tried in court. Some topics about include:

  1. What is the difference between civil and criminal cases?
  2. Felony: when do disenfranchisement laws apply?
  3. Are organized crime and corruption the same thing?
  4. Victim services: can crime victims get any help?
  5. Prison rape and violence: how can sexual and domestic violence be prevented in prison?
  6. Forensics: how effective is forensics science in modern criminal justice.
  7. Shoplifting: how serious are shoplifting cases?
  8. Protection Program: who is eligible, and what type of protection is offered?
  9. Date rape: what type of legal assistance is available to victims?
  10. Substance use, abuse, and crime: does one cause a trigger for the other?

Crime and victimization Research Topics

Crime And victimization are captivating aspects of criminology. Several research and surveys have been done better to understand this field over the last few years. Below are some intriguing crime and victimization research topics for college students to consider.

  1. Crime and victimization among ethnic minorities: this paper will take an interesting look into how minor ethnicities experience crime and victimization in society.
  2. The victimization of females in the workplace: researchers explore the treatment of females in an especially male-dominated workspace and how it affects them.
  3. Political opposition: how the oppositions are victimized. Political oppositions in many countries are seen as threats by the ruling powers.
  4. Criminal victimization of the elderly – the elderly are mostly defenseless and, as a result, the targets of criminals.
  5. Victimization on campus – how college students are victimized on campus.
  6. Victimization in prisons and correctional facilities – are inmates subject to harassment and various form of physical abuse?
  7. Racial profiling and victimization – is racial profiling a thing? How does it affect the individuals of the race?
  8. Domestic violence: the victimization of romantic partners physically or emotionally.
  9. Sexual harassment and stalking.
  10. Cyberbullying, cybercrime, and victimization.

Criminology Theories Research Topics

Several criminology theories exist. This research covers how these theories are interpreted, used, and discovered. Some topics that cover this include:

  1. Theoretical integration of criminology theories – two criminology theories are better than one and how they can be integrated.
  2. Biological theory; how biological factors affect crime – Are some individuals more predisposed to cringe than others, and do biological factors play an important role.
  3. Deterrence theory: crime and the fear of punishment – are crimes with severe punishments less rampant than those with less punishment; how the freezer of punishment deters crime.
  4. Theory of rational choice – people restore to criminal behaviour because it is the best option.
  5. Advancement of criminology theories – how knowledge of criminal theories could be furthered.
  6. Social theory: how good socialization affects crime – are people around criminals predisposed to crime?
  7. How criminal behaviours are learned through observation: social learning theory: are criminal behaviours learned through observation of criminals or not?
  8. Self-control theory: how effective self-control affects crime rate – are individuals with better self-control less likely to be involved in crime? Is crime a resume of a lack of self-control?
  9. Theory of Routine activities- do daily routines affect criminal behaviours.
  10. Ownership of arms. Is this regarded as a law violation?

Reasonable Criminology Research Topics

Other reasonable criminology topics for students to explore are:

  1. Criminology as a social science – how criminology Is a social science because it deals with social science issues.
  2. Implications of hate crime: hate crime and how it affects the victims and society. Are the punishments effective in deterring hate crimes?
  3. Tracing the roots of criminology from ancient times – a history of criminology.
  4. Of crimes among age groups: how criminal behaviours vary among ages.
  5. Effects of childhood upbringing on the crime rate in society – does a child’s upbringing affect the crime rate in society? Are criminals a result of a bad childhood upbringing?
  6. The Portrayal of Serial killers in media – how serial killers are portrayed in the media and how it affects serial killers.
  7. Crime vs punishment – how punishment relates to crime and its deterrence.
  8. How does society affect drug abuse – is society to be blamed for drug abuse?
  9. Literacy vs Illiteracy and its effect on criminal behaviour: does literacy or Illiteracy affect criminals? Are literates less likely to commit crimes than illiterates?
  10. Gender bias in investigations. Does one gender receive better judgment than the other?


There are quite a number of areas you can conduct research in criminal justice. You may choose to focus on one particular area, or even multiple areas, depending on your research paper’s requirements. You will, however, need to ensure you do sufficient research for your work to be relevant. To make the research process easier, you can enlist the help of a professional writing service to write a research paper for you. They can provide you with the necessary resources and expertise to ensure that your paper is well-researched and accurate.

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