Kiswahili Institute

Criminal Justice Research Paper Topics for University Students


Producing an outstanding research paper on criminal justice is especially important if you are majoring in law. Here are some promising topics.

  • The criminalization of black and colored youth.
  • Based on the recent case of the Ferguson shooting, explore how typical racial profiling is for the police. Is a black person more likely to be shot by a police officer than a white person under similar circumstances? What can be done to ensure the fairer treatment of people of non-white backgrounds?

  • False confessions.
  • A number of research studies show that a vast majority of people is likely to confess what they have not actually done when faced with fabricated evidence, such as doctored photos or videos. Moreover, it is legal in the U.S. for the police to fake evidence in order to extract a confession. Summarize the previous research on how many innocent persons are sentenced to U.S. prisons, and speculate how the justice system can be modified to offer better protection to those falsely accused.

  • Heritable causes of criminal behavior.
  • As reported by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, about half of state prisoners have close relatives who are also incarcerated. However, the research of heritable factors that may influence criminal inclinations has relatively small weight in present-day academic literature. You can produce a great paper by exploring this topic and drawing a grounded conclusion on how justified the theory of heritable crime is.

  • Inmate reentry.
  • According to the statistics, over 600,000 prisoners are released in the U.S. every year. About two thirds of them would be rearrested within the next three years. Experts claim that it happens because prisons have given up on the rehabilitation of offenders. As a result, inmates who leave prisons lack the skills necessary to adapt into society. Moreover, the general public is often biased towards people with a criminal record, and few employers are willing to hire them. Suggest how the penal system can be reformed to facilitate more successful inmate reentry and prevent recurring crime, as well as what local communities can do to help solve this problem.

  • Prison abolishment.
  • Investigate the experience of countries such as Finland and Norway that have some of the lowest incarceration and crime rates in the world, as well as some of the most comfortable prisons. Is there a reason to think that “nice” prison conditions and mild sentencing laws are more effective to combat crime than traditional tough and punitive justice? Can the experience of these countries be used in the U.S. and lead, over time, to the full abolishment of prisons?




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