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Best Criminal Justice Research Topics

20 Jan 2020Research Paper Topics

Updated Aug 2021
​Statistics suggest that when it comes to law college assignments, criminal justice is a complex research field that poses many challenges to students. Writing about criminal justice requires both impeccable information accuracy and originality. Every argument must be accompanied by supporting evidence and valid sources. Since it involves such an in-depth level of research and documentation, it’s best to choose a topic that interests you.

We’ve compiled a list of strong criminal justice research topics that are perfect for a law assignment. Our aim is to provide students with topics that are not too general or too narrow, so they can write a compelling paper.

How to Write a Criminal Justice Research Paper?
Criminal Justice Research Topics

To write an interesting criminal justice research paper you have to follow the same writing rules that apply to any academic research paper. Since your field is criminal justice, there are also specific things to have in mind before searching for topic ideas. This includes a need to stay within certain academic barriers when it comes to topic choice and research methods.

  • Choose your topic wisely. Criminal justice is the science that studies and analyses illegal acts, but also their social, political, or ethical impact. Your topic should relate to something specific from legislation rules to court cases. A topic that is too general will make your paper weak because you won’t be able to cover all the necessary information. A narrow topic doesn’t allow you to expand enough. Start from a general subject and narrow it down to gradually until your topic can be easily covered according to the word count of your paper.
  • Find relevant information. Ensure that all the information you use in your research covers precisely the legislation of your state or country. Each state or country has its own legislation, so avoid case studies, sources and reports that refer to places with different legislations. Use research paper help to make sure your paper is scientifically-rigorous. Without relevant information to back up your claims, your paper will fail to achieve its purpose.

How to Choose a Good Criminal Justice Research Topic

Picking a top-shelf criminal justice research topic is going to be quite a challenge, even for the most experienced people already working in the field, let alone students. Criminal Justice is one of the broadest social studies out there, and while the possibilities and topics are near-endless, at first glance, it might seem that the exciting things have already been explored.

Well, while many papers have been written over the years in regards to Criminal Justice, there are so many fields that are left unexplored. To find the perfect criminal justice research paper topic, you’ll first have to start with research. Finding the perfect political science research paper topics will take time, sure, but take as much time as you need, as topics are the foundation for your work.

Research is the backbone of any research paper. Look at the topics that have been done to death and those that haven’t been explored fully.

No one expects your student research paper to be something that will reimagine criminal justice, but doing something that has been seen time and time again simply makes your whole work seem a bit lazy.

Another good piece of advice is to stick to something new, which means following the news. An interesting case pops up in the daily news every so often, and you can use that as inspiration for your argumentative research topics.

Basic Criminal Justice Research Topics for College Students 

For students with majors in law, criminology, or even social sciences, criminal justice is one of the common topics for research papers. Writing a paper is a struggle for many students, but if you start on the right track, there is nothing to worry about. All you need is to find a suitable topic to focus on. To help you, we’ve put together the best criminal justice research ideas. You will start your research properly and come up with convincing and good results. Get your inspiration from our list of relevant topics below.

  1. Private prisons. What are some pros and cons? How can implementation laws change? What are some social implications of a possible reform?
  2. Hate crime. How are offenders sanctioned? What qualifies as a hate crime? Who are typical victims? What are some racial, religious or social implications?
  3. Police brutality. What do statistics show? What are common sanctions? How can it be curbed? What are the most severe cases?
  4. How a criminal act was perpetrated in a school or institution? What laws prevent forgery? What do statistics say?
  5. What are common crimes on the internet? What sanctions exist against ransomware?
  6. War crimes. What are the recent examples? What international laws protect citizens against war crimes?
  7. Crime prevention. What are some recent programs in crime prevention? What are law reforms? What is their impact?
  8. Juvenile delinquency. What is the rate of juvenile delinquency at a national or global level? What preventive methods have been implemented?
  9. Domestic abuse. What are the victim’s rights? Which laws protect the victim? What sanctions are implemented? What is the punishment?
  10. Crime vs mental illness. How mental illness relates to crime? What connections can we find? Which case studies or court cases are relevant?

Cyber Crime Research Paper Topics

Statistics show that cybercrime has grown massively in the last years, diversifying into dozens of criminal acts ranging from identity theft to financial fraud. Due to becoming so widespread, cybercrime is a great concern for legislators and top USA institutions like FBI. If you want to write about this controversial field, we’ve put together a topic list. Remember that the jurisdiction of your state or country also plays a role in how you can relate to these topics.

  1. Identity theft among social media users
  2. Evolution of organized cybercrime
  3. Legislative changes regarding cybercrime
  4. Cyberbullying among teenagers
  5. Sanctions for ransomware attacks and prevention methods
  6. Most common cybercrime trends
  7. Sanctions for cybercriminals
  8. International legislation for cyber crimes
  9. Cyber police reforms
  10. Punishment for cyberbullying

Controversial Criminal Justice Research Topics

Controversy is never a bad thing, especially if you’re looking to write an intriguing research paper, and especially if it’s in a touchy field such as criminal justice. Following this rhetoric, here are ten different controversial criminal justice topics:

  1. Exploring the “They Who Screamed Wolf” World of False Rape Accusations
  2. Recycling or Rehabilitation: a Brief Overview of the Modern Penal System
  3. Euthanasia and Death Row: When Is It Moral to Take One’s Life
  4. The Chaos of Insanity Versus the Bureaucracy of Modern Law. How Ngos Are Handled in Modern Justice
  5. When Does an Inmate Require Protective Custody?
  6. Conjugal Visits: a Release or a New Threat
  7. Watch Out; He’s Got a Gun! And Other Things That Lead to Police Slayings
  8. Why Is the Justice System Purposefully Making Examples Out of Convicts?
  9. Rape, Molesting, and Stockholm Syndrome. How the Rights of Rape Victims Are Not Being Used to Their Full Extent
  10. Do Dehumanizing Acts Lead To Dehumanizing Actors?

General Criminology Research Topics

Sometimes, you’ll have to stick with what works. Some topics are simply more attractive than others, as they encompass a broader narrative. However, this in no way means you can’t put your unique spin on it. Regardless of what you intend to do, here are a couple of original and interesting general criminology research topics:

  1. Victim or Victimless Crimes. Why the Differences Matter
  2. Are Killers Born, Raised, or Are We All Ticking Time-Bombs
  3. What if the Punishment Doesn’t Fit the Crime
  4. Life With a Possibility of Parole: a Sick Joke or a Genuine Attempt at Rehabilitation
  5. Psychopathy or Poverty. Why Are Persons From Low-Income Households More Likely to Become Criminals
  6. Political Corruption and Its Influence on Modern Criminology in the Us
  7. Why Do Sentences Get Reduced?
  8. Life Without a Possibility of Parole. A Fate Worse Than Death?
  9. From Leather Shoes to Combat Boots. How Has Police Equipment Changed Over the Years
  10. How the Modern Police Force Differs From the Police Force of the 20th Century

Criminal Justice Research Topics on Racism & Discrimination

This specific field is so expansive that we’ve decided to give it its own section, so here are ten topics on racism and discrimination in criminal justice:

  1. Why Are African American Peoples More Likely to Get Stopped in Stop-and-Searches?
  2. Is the Modern Criminal System Biased Towards People of Color?
  3. How Do Gender, Race, and Ethnicity Play Into the Modern Criminal Justice System?
  4. How Discriminatory Is the Constitution of the Us?
  5. Racial Bias or Gender Bias: Which Plays a More Prominent Role in the Modern Justice System?
  6. Why Everyone Is Being Branded a Racist These Days and How That Allows Real Racists to Go Undetected
  7. The Use of Insider Lingo and Jargon in the Courtroom – Exploring the Glowies, the Small Hat Tribe, and Basketball Americans
  8. The Shifting Tides of Racism and How Reverse Racism Is Impacting Courtroom Decisions
  9. Law Is for the Poor. Why Do the Wealthy Get Away With So Many Illicit and Illegal Acts
  10. How Your Socioeconomic Standing Might Sway the Jury From One Side to the Other

Criminology Research Topics

To honor the long-standing history of this science and the massive evolution it has undergone in the past few decades, here are ten topics on it:

  1. Gun Control in the United States – a Necessity or Downright Unconstitutional
  2. White-Collar Crime and Economic Crimes. How Modern Forensics Help Crack Down on the Untouchables
  3. Juvenile Crime and Juvenile Detention Facilities. Preparation for the Penal System or a Genuine Attempt at Rehabilitating the Troubled Youth of Today
  4. Why Are Human Trafficking Busts So Rare Yet They Almost Always Involve Influential People
  5. Prison Suicide and the Roman Way Out
  6. State-by-State Regulations Versus Federal Regulations. Which Play a Bigger Role in Local Courtrooms
  7. Single Case Crime or a Network – How the Mafia Went Underground
  8. Prioritization, Regulation, or Removal – Settling the Right to Bear Arms
  9. Do Reforms Work, and if So, in What Capacity?
  10. Passing New Legislation to Regulate Old Issues and the Challenges of Doing So

Criminal Law Research Topics

Criminal law is one of the more interesting fields in criminal justice, and the U.S. probably has the most publicized criminal law proceedings out of all the countries in the world. With information comes the ability to create a groundbreaking paper, so here are some topics to help you along:

  1. Lawyers versus Lawmakers: the Neverending Conflict Between Those Creating a System and Those Creating Loopholes
  2. Why Are Some Judges Better Than Others
  3. How Media and Film Affects Jurors Decisions
  4. The Demonization of Criminal Lawyers and Why Being a Lawyer Is One of the Most Despised Professions by the Population
  5. Bending the Rules and Breaking the Rules – the Subtle Differences Between the Two
  6. Why Has Criminal Law Changed So Little Over the Past Few Decades
  7. Is the Current Appeal System Archaic, and Why Good Men Serve Time for the Deeds of Bad Men
  8. Does More Money Buy You More Freedom? Private Versus Assigned Lawmen
  9. Why Is the Law So Slow to Adapt to Digital Fraud and Other Forms of Cybercrime
  10. A Deep Dive Into the Arduous World of False Confessions

International Criminal Law Research Topics

While the rest of the world keeps their Criminal Justice a little bit obfuscated compared to the US, there are still some places with interesting cases. Here are some research paper topic ideas on international criminal law:

  1. The Bias of the ICTY Hague Tribunal – Justice for Some?
  2. Why Is the International Court Appeal Process So Time-Consuming?
  3. International Criminals and Where They Are Placed Unter Trial
  4. Granting Asylum as a Means to Get Out Scott-Free or a Political Insult
  5. Exploring the Dastardly World of the Top International Offenders
  6. Out of the Most Sought After International Offenders, How Do So Many Manage to Evade the Law
  7. Trans-Country Police Collaboration and How Keeping With Your Own Is Hurting the Justice System
  8. Drug Trafficking and Narcoterrorism Kings, Rooted in a Few Countries, Sought After by All Others
  9. NATO Ethics in Conflict Excursions: Keeping the Peace or Stoking the Fire
  10. The Failure of UNPROFOR and How What Lead to New International Regulations

Criminology Research & Measurement

Criminology research and measurement are some of the underdogs for research paper topics, and that should make these fields much more interesting for people looking to go deep into the rabbit hole. There are more topics than you can imagine in this field – here are our top ten:

  1. Comparing the Global Criminal Offenders by Region
  2. Death Row and How It’s Different From Country to Country
  3. Analyzing What Turns a Citizen Into a Criminal Based on Socioeconomic Standing
  4. Belarus | the Last Country That Has the Death Penalty in Europe
  5. How Does Incarceration Degrade the Mind of Inmates
  6. How Likely Are Criminals to Go Back to Their Ways After Release From the Penal System
  7. Wrongful Convictions and Why They Happen More Than Most Would Like to Admit
  8. Lying, Obfuscating, and Tampering: a Criminal Lawyer or a Criminal Who Is a Lawyer
  9. Who Picks the Jurors on a Case and Why the Jury Might Be the Breaking Point in Some Cases
  10. I’m Innocent! How Criminals Have Lied About Their Crimes Throughout the Ages

Criminal Justice Research Topics about Court Cases

Court cases have always had a special place in lawmaking and criminal justice. They’ve led to reforms, and they’ve changed the very world we live in – one perspective at a time. They also make a fantastic criminal justice research topic, so here are our ten picks:

  1. The Impeachment of Donald Trump: a Court Case or a Media Frenzy
  2. Brown vs. The Board of Education and How It Changed the United States Forever
  3. The United States Versus Richard Nixon – What Have We Learned From Watergate
  4. Rodney King and How One Man Can Change the World for the Better Through the Judicial System
  5. How Do Courts Actually Work and Who Has the Final Say for the Fate of a Prisoner?
  6. Cohens Versus Virginia: the Prospect of Power
  7. How Jurors and Judges Manipulated by Media
  8. Roe Versus Wade – A Settled Debate That Keeps on Going
  9. The Trial of Al Capone: One of the Most Discussed Moments in Mafia History
  10. Lawrence Versus Texas and the Landmark Victory for LGBTQ+ Rights

Forensic Science Research Paper Topics

Forensic science refers to any scientific research or study that can be used in the legal system. By relying on scientific principles, legal scientists are able to draw conclusions about the evidence compiled in a criminal case. Including concepts from physics to anthropology, forensic science is thus an integral part of criminal justice. For relevant ideas and topic examples to use in your research paper, have a look below. You can find some new topics, ideas, and inspiration to be displayed in your paper.

  1. Computer forensics
  2. Forensic toxicology and drug crimes
  3. Limited impact of DNA evidence
  4. Quality control standards in forensic laboratories
  5. DNA evidence in relation to the privacy policy
  6. Forensic evidence of fire and arson crimes
  7. Forensic evidence of white-collar crimes
  8. Murder scene forensics
  9. Legislative changes regarding forensic evidence
  10. Inapplicability of forensic evidence in court cases

I find these topics very interesting, but difficult. Who can do my research paper for me on forensic science? If this is you, you can rely on a specialized research paper writing website that can cover any topic on the criminal justice system.

Juvenile Delinquency Research Paper Topics

A challenging field of criminal justice is juvenile delinquency. Under this category, there are a large number of crimes with important social implications. If you want to write your paper on criminology on a subject related to delinquent behavior in juveniles, these are some complex topics to serve as starting points.

  1. Causes and preventive strategies for juvenile delinquency
  2. Correlation between socioeconomic background and adolescent crime
  3. Role of education in juvenile delinquency
  4. Reforms in the juvenile justice system
  5. Learning disabilities among adolescent criminals
  6. Cybercrime statistics among juveniles
  7. Comparison of juvenile crime in American states
  8. Drug crimes among juveniles
  9. Role of abuse in children with delinquent behavior
  10. Gang behavior and juvenile criminal behavior

Research Topics in Types of Crime

According to one of the most popular law research paper service in the USA, these are some common topics researched by students:

Research Topics in Criminal Justice System

The criminal justice system also offers a wide range of interesting topics to explore:


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