Criminal Justice Research Topics

Defining criminal justice research topics


Defining criminal justice research topics can be an intimidating challenge. You may not know where to start when it comes to research, and you might feel like the process is too insurmountable for you to complete.

However, with a little bit of planning and preparation, you can research the topic that is right for your needs and create quality criminal justice research papers. Here are some criteria to help you identify proper topics.

List of basic criminal justice topics


There are a few basic topics that you should keep in mind when doing your research, including:

• Juvenile crime

• Drug trafficking and consumption

• Prevention techniques for crimes such as burglary and mugging

• domestic violence

Controversial Criminal Justice Topics

If you have a particular interest in controversial criminal justice topics, then it is likely that writing homework papers on different criminal justice research topics will come naturally to you. However, if the idea of undertaking criminal justice research makes your palms sweat profusely and you feel overwhelmed at just the thought of starting, then this list of suggested topics may prove helpful.

This list of criminal justice research topics will present you with several options: some controversial and some not, but all extremely interesting.


First, the least controversial:


1. Socialization and education – The ways in which children are taught to approach life as they grow up plays a powerful role in how they view criminal justice later on. For example, if a child is taught from a very early age that it is acceptable to steal from others in order to get ahead, then when they reach adulthood, they are likely to put their learning into practice.


2. Family and friends – The influence of family and friends can play a large part in criminal behavior later on in life, especially if young people are brought up in a household where criminal activities are prevalent.


3. Drugs – Drug use can have an effect on behavior, sometimes motivating people to commit a crime in order to get their next hit. This is especially true for addicts who may steal from family members or acquaintances in order to fund their habit.


4. Gender and crime – Research has shown that women are more likely to commit minor crimes such as shoplifting or theft from an employer, while men are most likely to be involved in organized crime and gang activity.


5. Mental illness and criminal behavior – There is a strong link between mental illness and crimes of all types, but particularly violent crimes. Research has found that the majority of individuals serving life sentences in psychiatric units are there because they committed either murder or manslaughter.


6. Race and crime – There is much controversy surrounding the link between race and criminal activity, with some studies showing that crimes are more likely to be committed by certain ethnic groups than others, which has led to these groups being unfairly targeted by the criminal justice system.


7. Victimology – Researching how and why certain victims are targeted by criminals could help the law enforcement agencies which include police officers at all levels to protect individuals at risk of falling prey to violent offenders.


8. Prison reform – The fact that prison is widely considered to be a punishment in itself, rather than acting as an effective deterrent to criminal behavior, has led some people to call for reform of the prison system.


9. Criminal profiling – The study of psychology and criminology can be used in conjunction with criminal profiling, another controversial topic that has enabled detectives to catch offenders who would have otherwise escaped justice.


10. Death penalty – Despite much controversy surrounding this form of punishment, it still exists in a number of countries around the world. Some people believe that the death sentence is the only suitable punishment for crimes such as murder and treason, while others feel that it is a step too far and incompatible with human rights.


11. Human trafficking – The illegal trade in human beings is widespread across the world, with millions of individuals being trafficked every year for purposes including forced labor.


12. Crime prevention – This is a topic that encompasses many different ideas, from the way in which people are brought up to their living standards and environment. Engaging communities in crime prevention can be highly effective in reducing criminal activity.


Criminology Disciplines

Criminology refers to the scientific study of crime and criminals. Criminals are people who violate criminal law, which is a social rule designed to maintain order in society.

For college students looking to write a perfect criminology research paper, they should first identify the different types of criminologists. There are many different types of criminologists with varying theories that attempt to explain why societies create laws or how individuals come to violate them.

For example, positivist criminologists may take the view that criminals are born, while functionalist criminologists might believe that many people who violate laws do so because they lack social opportunities.

Criminology vs. criminal justice

In most criminal justice programs, students have the option to major or concentrate in criminology. However, there is a difference between these two program concentrations that many academic experts debate over.

What exactly is this difference? Criminologists typically study the origin and nature of crime while criminal justice students/law students focus on the legal system and its impact on society.

Criminologists typically study the causes of crime, including societal causes such as poverty. They also look at biological and psychological factors that contribute to criminal behavior.

Criminologist research focuses on finding ways to prevent people from becoming criminals or stop them before they can commit additional crimes. A criminology major may conduct research experiments in his or her own laboratory or analyze past studies on dominant crime theories.

In addition, a criminologist may study deviance in society, the impact of crime on modern culture, and a sociologist’s role within the criminal justice system.

How to Choose Good Research Topics in criminology


For anybody who wants to further their knowledge about criminology, a wonderful place to start is by doing research.  By conducting research, you can study the information that is relevant to you and use it as a foundation for future understanding of criminology as a whole.

While there are many formats in which research can be conducted. Some of the most popular include library research, experiments and case studies. However, even with modern technology at your fingertips, it can sometimes be difficult to choose the best research topics for your specific needs.

This article attempts to provide some insight into how you can go about choosing a good criminology research topics.

A good place to start is by asking yourself the following three questions:

1. What interest you?

This first question can be considered as a starting point for selecting your criminology research topics because if you are not interested in the subject matter, it will be difficult to maintain focus on what you are researching or writing about.

This does not imply that you should choose something in particular because it is interesting to you, but you should at least make sure that the topic has some element which piques your interest.

2. How do you want to use this research? What is the aim of your research topics?

This second question allows you to determine what purpose your research will serve. There are many reasons as to why you may want to conduct your research, some of which include the following:

– For education purposes

– To understand a specific issue in more depth

– To develop an argument for or against a particular theory/issue

– To support your criminal justice thesis or dissertation

– To improve your grades

Whichever purpose you have in mind, the your criminology research topics should be something that helps to achieve this – otherwise, it will be pointless.

3. What is your time frame? How much time do you want to put into this criminology research project?

Criminal Justice system: Research Areas


Criminal Justice is an area of great modern interest. There are many different criminal justice system theories and numerous types of crimes, each with their own applicable research topics.

There are more than seven research areas for criminal justice research in the Criminal Justice System, however these are some of the most popular. These are environmental criminology and feminist theories.

The Criminal Justice System is also modernizing all the time, with new technology leading to many challenges. For example, there are electronic surveillance technologies that criminals can use to their advantage.

What is a criminal justice research paper?

A criminal justice research paper is a report that discusses criminal justice. This includes the causes of crime, criminals, crime victims, police forces, courts, and prisons.

The modern system of criminal justice is studied in order to learn what the society could do better in dealing with modern crimes. This research paper should include the following:

1) Criminal Justice Research Paper Introduction

a) introduction to modern criminal justice

b) what is modern criminal justice?

2) Criminal Justice  Research Paper Body Paragraphs  (3 body paragraphs minimum):

a) Causes of crime: Inadequate understanding of modern psychology

b) Criminals: psychology’s understanding of modern criminals

c) Crime victims: society’s portrayal of modern crime victims

d) Police forces: police officers’ role in society/the legal system

e) Courts: civil court procedures

f) Prisons: prisons and their conditions


3) Criminal Justice  Research Paper Conclusion

a) criminal justice

b) modern crime and modern crime-fighting strategies

c)criminal justice research paper conclusion


Criminal Law Topics


There are various modern criminal law topics that are explored in modern culture. These include the death penalty, international crime and punishment, as well as controversial crimes such as pedophilia or genocide.

In modern day America, there is a huge movement to abolish the death sentence from all fifty states. In fact, some countries have either completely abolished it or have not used it for over 40 years.

Countries that are abolitionists include Canada, the European Union, and South America. Proponents of modern abolition argue that capital punishment is a violation of modern civil rights as it does not allow for rehabilitation rather than retribution.

Opponents argue that capital punishment is necessary in order to protect society from the worst criminals. For example, modern abolitionists may argue that in modern society there is no need for barbaric methods of punishment in order to protect society from violent offenders.

On the international level, criminal law deals with international crimes and punishments, including global terrorism and war crimes. Some countries have begun to modernize their laws for international crimes and punishments. For example, Germany modernized its laws for international crime and punishment in order to streamline the application of universal jurisdiction.

Criminology Topics


Criminology is a social science that focuses on deviance- or behaviors that are defined as illegal. Criminologists study the causes of crime criminology theories and factors that encourage people to turn to crime.

What drives people to commit crimes? Why do some individuals choose not to break laws, while others find themselves continually committing crimes?

There are many criminology topics that criminologists study in an attempt to obtain a better understanding of this field.

Criminology topics include:

– Juvenile delinquency and how it is different from adult crime.

– White collar crimes committed by professionals such as accountants, physicians, and lawyers.

– Crimes that are committed by women.

– Current research on criminal behavior to determine if modern theories are accurate.

– Effects of modern technology on criminal activities, such as cybercrime.

– International criminal tribunal and how they may contribute towards reducing international crime rates.

Criminologists are interested in modern criminology topics, as well as classic criminology topics. Criminology is an expansive field that has evolved over time to modernize its understanding of criminal behavior. There are many modern criminology topics that criminologists study to contribute towards the betterment of society.

(Bibliography: WikiHow Contributors. (2017). How to Write a Criminology Essay. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 May 2017].)

Criminology research proposal topics

Criminology is an interdisciplinary field that seeks to understand the nature, causes and societal implications of crime.

There are many different types of criminology research topics that can be studied including

criminal justice,

international criminal law and treaties,


organized crimes,

drug smuggling in America among others.

Criminal Justice research Topics:

There are many criminal justice research topics that a criminologist could choose from to write research papers. Expanding the knowledge base of criminals and crimes helps improve law enforcement efforts against current day criminals and improves understanding about how criminals think.

Domestic violence is one criminology topic. Domestic violence occurs when one spouse or partner abuses another in their home. This type of crime is hard to pinpoint and even harder to stop because the abuser often denies that they have done anything wrong and many victims feel trapped in their situations and do not know where to turn. Many domestic violence cases are not reported which makes it difficult to study.

Other research topics include modern terrorism. There has been an increased focus on terrorism in society since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

International Criminal Law and Treaties:

These are international crime laws that are created upon on the United Nations Security Council.

The justice system include international treaty systems and international criminal tribunals which are important because modern day crimes can be committed in one country or state, but have effects that reach into other countries. This means that criminals use modern technology to commit crimes which in return necessitates laws, forensic science and crime control measures to deter them from happening.

Criminal Justice Topics

Criminal Justice is an extremely large field that refers to the wide range of topics that are related to crimes. These include: rehabilitation,




retribution, and many others.

It requires a modern approach because criminals can range from petty thieves to blood thirsty murderers; punishment must be able to reflect the severity of the crime as well.

Issues surrounding criminal justice are constantly modernizing, and police forces across the world are always doing their best to keep up with technological advancements in order to serve their communities better.

Criminal justice is an important field because it consists of so many different parts that must work together in a functional society. Without any reform, international crimes would go unpunished, the victims of modern crimes would be ignored, and everyone in society would end up suffering.

Proper laws, modern investigation techniques, punishments, rehabilitation methods; all these things are vital to criminal justice system hence when choosing criminal justice research topics for your criminal justice papers it is paramount you take this into consideration.

Criminal Justice is also an international field that deals with the legalities of dealing with international criminals. Laws are not the same in every country, and modern laws allow for quick action to be taken against international criminals who travel between several different countries. International treaties have further defined different criminal justice systems across the globe, allowing for crimes to be punished more easily across international boundaries.

Although modern changes in criminal justice focus on keeping up with criminals, society still values punishments as deterrents to crime. Retribution is still an widely valued modern view of criminal justice, and courts all across the world take this into consideration when deciding on punishment methods.

(Article’s author: Emily Graslie)

More criminology and criminal justice research topics and ideas

Criminology has various subfields that college students can explore for their criminal research topics. The major ones are:

(a) criminological theory,

(b) research methods,

(c) corrections and rehabilitation,

(d) international criminal law treaties,

(e) modern criminal justice systems of different countries around the world , and many others . This article is meant to give you even more ideas for your criminology and criminal justice research topics for your criminal justice paper.

Criminological theory:

The modern theory of criminology is based on the assumption that punishment works to reduce crime, but it doesn’t work all of the time and in every case. For instance, if a person commits a minor crime and gets caught, and then punished for it, that may or may not deter the person from doing the same crime again.

But if a person commits a serious crime and is caught, and punished severely with life in prison, this might be an effective deterrent because that person would most likely not want to end up spending all of his/her life behind

What is the best research title for criminology?


There are many research topics within criminal justice, but modern criminology is an incredibly vast topic. Within modern criminology there are many different areas of research that can be focused on.

For example, modern criminology may cover prison reform, the causes of crime in modern society, or how terrorism has affected modern day criminal justice. International criminal law treaties is another example of the many research topics that could be covered to modern day criminology.

What are some good research questions for criminal justice?

Good research topics, or areas of inquiry within criminal justice, are those which will lead to new information. As a good researcher it is important not to limit yourself to one topic, but rather conduct your research using two or more different methods.

For example, focus on one issue for a period of time and answer the question in depth by reviewing literature and conducting interviews. Then focus on a completely different topic that is perhaps less familiar to you and answer the same question again, only this time use a primary source document such as a case brief or a law journal article. This approach will offer a more complete understanding of criminal justice by looking at multiple perspectives from different angles.


If you’re anything like me, the thought of writing a research paper on any of the many criminal justice research topics makes you break out into a cold sweat. But don’t worry – I’ve got your back. In this post, I have shared with you some tips on how to write a research paper that will get you an A+. And if you need help getting started or want someone to do the grunt work for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are experts in helping students write their papers and can have one ready for you in no time. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!