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Choosing Criminal Justice Research Paper Topics: Take Your Pick


If you have been given an assignment to write a research paper for your criminal justice course, then you need a great topic. You will be pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of options of topics for criminal justice papers, especially that criminal justice systems are changing as we learn more about the best ways to treat and care for those in the system. Here are several that you can use, so take your pick:

There are several topics relating to general criminal justice, like:

  • Defending criminals
  • Criminal procedures
  • Investigating crime scenes
  • Sentencing criminals
  • The History of Law Enforcement in the US
  • Lie Detector Testing in the US
  • Negotiating with hostages
  • Using DNA testing in criminal cases
  • The role of women in law enforcement

Punishment is another interesting subcategory. Here are a few ideas:

  • Mothers in prison
  • The ethics of capital punishment
  • Mandatory sentences for crimes
  • The ethics and management of parole
  • Protecting the rights of prisoners in America
  • Social work and therapy with criminals

While criminal justice has been an important part of the history of the United States, there are several topics that seem to be more appropriate to our culture today. They include:

  • Battered women syndrome
  • Bullying and Cyberbullying
  • Child abuse and abductions
  • Internet and computer crimes
  • Criminal psychology
  • Drunk driving
  • Serial killers
  • Accuracy of the eyewitness
  • Forensic psychology
  • Gang activity and prevention
  • Forgery and fraud
  • Graffiti and tagging
  • Computer hacking
  • Health care fraud
  • Insider trading
  • Identity theft
  • Pirating music and movies
  • Sexual harassment
  • Criminal sociology
  • Stalking
  • Whistleblowing

These topics and more are possible topics for anyone writing a research paper in a criminal justice class. Most research papers require the use of a persuasive thesis statement, so these topics will need to be formulated into opinions. For example, if you want to research cyberbullying, you could ask questions about the common ages that cyberbullying appears and how it affects people after they move on to a new stage of life - like moving from high school into college and whether or not cyberbullying continues.

All of these topics and others can be used in a variety of ways. Some can be combined to create interesting comparisons, like how computer hacking and identity theft are related. It could also be interesting to look at the similarities between battered women syndrome and the effects of child abuse on families. The best way to choose a topic for a criminal justice research paper is to look for topics that interest you because you will spend a significant amount of time researching, organizing, writing, and editing.

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