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Racial Democracy Crime and Justice Network Small Grants Program

  • Recent Publications

Criminal Justice Policy & Practice

Criminological theory development & testing.

  • Criminology for the 21st Century

Statistical Methods & Data Analysis

Capitol Building by Jorge Alcala (https://unsplash.com/@jorgeaalcala)

From its urban roots at the University of Chicago in the early part of the twentieth century, American criminology is going through a sea change in terms of subject matter, methods and data. CCJS at the University of Maryland wants to play a role in terms of shaping the emerging Criminology of the 21 st Century. The video clips in this series focus on newly emerging areas of interest, cutting edge research methods and innovative sources of data.

Criminology

The Racial Democracy Crime and Justice Network (RDCJN) seeks to undertake research and related initiatives to explore the implications of crime and justice processing for citizens’ participation in a democracy.

When Crime Appears book cover

• Co-offending & Peer Influences • Communities & Crime • Developmental & Life-Course Criminology • Offender and Victim Decision-Making

Our faculty members are engaged in expanding and testing established criminological theories, offering new theoretical perspectives, and using multidisciplinary approaches to study theoretically-relevant issues that cut across various topics in the field. These include a focus on peer influence and co-offending, communities and crime, developmental and life-course perspectives, and research related to offender and victim decision-making.

  • Researchers

Maryland

The problem with criminal records: Discrepancies between state reports and private‐sector background checks.

Lageson, S., & Stewart, R. (2024). in Criminology.

Juvenile Delinquency

• Evidence-Based Policy • Policing • Courts & Sentencing • Corrections • Punishment & Inequality • Juvenile Justice

Our department is actively involved in assessing the effectiveness of policy interventions and advancing knowledge regarding the salient factors that shape various outcomes in the criminal justice system. Faculty research projects in this area cover topics such as evidence-based policy, policing, courts & sentencing, corrections, punishment and inequality and juvenile justice.

"Putting Terrorism in Context" by LaFree, Dugan, and Miller

Emergent Issues in Crime & Justice

• Violence & Victimization • Terrorism • Cybercrime • Corporate Crime • Drugs & Illegal Markets • Race, Gender & Crime

Emergent issues in crime and justice present unique challenges and opportunities for researchers and policy-makers. Drawing upon expertise from multiple disciplines, our faculty investigate timely and important questions related to violence and victimization, terrorism, cybercrime, corporate crime, drugs and other illegal markets, and the intersection of race, gender, crime and the criminal justice system.

Understanding Crime Statistics by James Lynch

• Experimental Methods • Causal Modeling • Policy Analysis • Hierarchical & Longitudinal Models • Network Analysis • Mixed Methods

CCJS faculty have been among the leaders in the discipline when it comes to utilizing cutting edge research designs, statistical methods and data analysis to investigate key issues in criminology and criminal justice. Experimental methods, causal models, program evaluation, hierarchical and longitudinal models, network analysis and mixed methods represent some of the areas of statistical and methodological expertise among faculty in our department.

  • Maryland Data Analysis Center

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Drugs and Crime Research Projects

The following table — Drugs and Crime Research Awards — shows awards made by NIJ for drugs and crime research projects.

Both ongoing and completed projects are included. Project titles for completed awards are linked to the substantive report submitted to NIJ at the completion of the project if available.

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  • School of Criminology
  • Acid attacks
  • Beyond the gaze
  • The Crime Linkage International Network
  • Evaluation of Sexual Assault
  • Hate crime victims
  • Improving LGBT mental health outcomes
  • Risks of money laundering
  • Sex workers in crisis
  • Exploring neurodiversity
  • Gender Sexuality and Environmental Justice
  • ISPCAN Covid Scholars Group
  • Justice in Covid-19 for Sexual Abuse and Violence
  • Mapping Safety
  • Political Cartooning in Conflict and post conflict
  • Prisons in a pandemic
  • Youth Peer Mentorship

Research projects

Research excellence, innovation and impact is at the heart of what we do. Browse a selection of some of the large- and small-scale projects we have conducted by clicking the links below.

COVID-19 related research

  • Prisons in a pandemic - new funding to examine impact on prisoner well-being and mental health
  • Impact of Covid-19 on criminal justice journeys of adult and child survivors of sexual violence and abuse 
  • Political Cartooning in Conflict and Post-Conflict Contexts

COVID-19 related articles/blogs

  • Coronavirus: extra police powers risk undermining public trust
  • The Impact of Coronavirus on The Families and Friends of People on Remand
  • PPE and contactless delivery: drug dealers reveal how they are adapting to coronavirus
  • Sex Workers in the Crisis of COVID
  • Trans and in prison during a pandemic: a rare glimpse behind bars

Other research projects

  • A postcode lottery? Mapping the support needs of hate crime victims in the West Midlands
  • Beyond the gaze: working practices, safety and regulation of internet-based sex workers in the UK
  • The Crime Linkage International Network (C-LINK)
  • Gender, Sexuality and Environmental Justice
  • Identifying and assessing the risks of money laundering
  • Improving the mental health outcomes of Nottingham's LGBT population
  • Multidisciplinary Evaluation of Sexual Assault Referral Centres for Better Health (MESARCH)
  • Qualitative and quantitative research into the motivations of offenders who carry and use acid and other corrosives in violent attacks and other criminal acts
  • Neurodiverse Police Officers and staff: Learning Information about their Career Experiences. The n-POLICE study
  • Youth Peer Mentorship “Upfull Hustlers” Project to Reduce Gang Violence: A Pilot Study in Mon Repos, Morvant, Trinidad

If you have a research opportunity that you would like to discuss with us then please  get in touch .

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Criminal Justice

IResearchNet

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Criminal justice research topics.

This collection provides overviews of   nearly 100 key criminal justice research topics comprising traditional criminology and its more modern interdisciplinary outgrowths. These topics are divided into six thematic parts:

  • Criminology
  • Correlates of Crime
  • Criminology Theories
  • Crime Research
  • Types of Crime
  • Criminal Justice System

Criminology and Criminal Justice Research Topics

Research topics in criminology:.

  • Criminology as Social Science .
  • Criminology and Public Policy .
  • History of Criminology .

Research Topics in Crime and Victimization:

  • Age and Crime .
  • Aggression and Crime .
  • Citizenship and Crime .
  • Education and Crime .
  • Employment and Crime .
  • Families and Crime .
  • Gender and Crime .
  • Guns and Crime .
  • Immigration and Crime .
  • Intelligence and Crime .
  • Mental Illness and Crime .
  • Neighborhoods and Crime .
  • Peers and Crime .
  • Race and Crime .
  • Religion and Crime .
  • Social Class and Crime .
  • Victimization .
  • Weather and Crime .

Research Topics in Criminology Theories:

  • Biological Theori es.
  • Classical Criminology .
  • Convict Criminology .
  • Criminal Justice Theories .
  • Critical Criminology .
  • Cultural Criminology .
  • Cultural Transmission Theory .
  • Deterrence and Rational Choice Theory .
  • Feminist Criminology .
  • Labeling and Symbolic Interaction Theories .
  • Life Course Criminology .
  • Psychological Theories of Crime .
  • Routine Activities Theory .
  • Self-Control Theory .
  • Social Construction of Crime .
  • Social Control Theory .
  • Social Disorganization Theory .
  • Social Learning Theory .
  • Strain Theories .
  • Theoretical Integration.

Research Topics in Criminology Research and Measurement:

  • Citation and Content Analysis .
  • Crime Classification Systems .
  • Crime Mapping .
  • Crime Reports and Statistics .
  • Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) and Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) .
  • Edge Ethnography .
  • Experimental Criminology .
  • Fieldwork in Criminology .
  • Program Evaluation .
  • Quantitative Criminology .

Research Topics in Types of Crime:

  • Campus Crime .
  • Child Abuse .
  • Cybercrime .
  • Domestic Violence .
  • Elder Abuse .
  • Environmental Crime .
  • Hate Crime .
  • Human Trafficking .
  • Identity Theft .
  • Juvenile Delinquency .
  • Organizational Crime .
  • Prostitution .
  • Sex Offenses .
  • Terrorism .
  • Theft and Shoplifting .
  • White-Collar Crime .
  • Wildlife Crime .

Research Topics in Criminal Justice System:

  • Capital Punishment .
  • Community Corrections .
  • Crime Prevention .
  • Criminal Courts .
  • Criminal Justice Ethics .
  • Criminal Law .
  • Criminal Specialization .
  • Drug Courts .
  • Drugs and the Criminal Justice System .
  • Felon Disenfranchisement .
  • Forensic Science .
  • Juvenile Court .
  • Juvenile Justice .
  • Mass Media, Crime, and Justice .
  • Offender Classification .
  • Offender Reentry .
  • Police–Community Relations .
  • Prison System .
  • Problem-Solving Courts .
  • Public Health and Criminal Justice .
  • Racial Profiling .
  • Restorative Justice .
  • Sentencing .
  • The Police .
  • Victim Services .
  • Wrongful Convictions .
  • Youth Gangs .

Because just listing suggestions for criminal justice research topics will be of limited value we have included short topical overviews and suggestions for narrowing those topics and divided them into 6 parts as in the list above. If you’re interested in some topic in the list follow the links below for more information.

Example   criminal justice research papers   on these topics have been designed to serve as sources of model papers for most criminological topics. These research papers were written by several well-known discipline figures and emerging younger scholars who provide authoritative overviews coupled with insightful discussion that will quickly familiarize researchers and students alike with fundamental and detailed information for each criminal justice topic.

This collection begins by defining the discipline of criminology and observing its historical development (Part I: Criminology ). The various social (e.g., poverty, neighborhood, and peer/family influences), personal (e.g., intelligence, mental illness), and demographic (e.g., age, race, gender, and immigration) realities that cause, confound, and mitigate crime and crime control are featured in   Part II: Correlates of Crime . The research papers in this section consider each correlate’s impact, both independently and in a broader social ecological context. The sociological origins of theoretical criminology are observed across several research papers that stress classical, environmental, and cultural influences on crime and highlight peer group, social support, and learning processes. Examination of these criminological theory research papers quickly confirms the aforementioned interdisciplinary nature of the field, with research papers presenting biological, psychological, and biosocial explanations and solutions for crime (Part III: Criminology Theories ).

Part IV: Criminology Research provides example research papers on various quantitative and qualitative designs and techniques employed in criminology research. Comparison of the purposes and application of these research methods across various criminal justice topics illustrates the role of criminologists as social scientists engaged in research enterprises wherein single studies fluctuate in focus along a pure–applied research continuum. This section also addresses the measurement of crimes with attention to major crime reporting and recording systems.

Having established a theoretical–methodological symmetry as the scientific foundation of criminology, and increasingly the field of criminal justice,   Part V: Types of Crime   considers a wide range of criminal offenses. Each research paper in this section thoroughly defines its focal offense and considers the related theories that frame practices and policies used to address various leading violent, property, and morality crimes. These research papers also present and critically evaluate the varying level of empirical evidence, that is, research confirmation, for competing theoretical explanations and criminal justice system response alternatives that are conventionally identified as best practices.

Ostensibly, an accurate and thorough social science knowledge base stands to render social betterment in terms of reduced crime and victimization through the development of research–based practices. This science–practitioner relationship is featured, advocated, and critiqued in the research papers of the final section,   Part VI: Criminal Justice System . Here, the central components of criminal justice research paper topics (law enforcement, courts, and corrections) are presented from a criminology–criminal justice outlook that increasingly purports to leverage theory and research (in particular, program evaluation results) toward realizing criminal justice and related social policy objectives. Beyond the main system, several research papers consider the role and effectiveness of several popular justice system and wrap-around component initiatives (e.g., specialty courts, restorative justice, and victim services).

See also: Domestic Violence Research Topics and School Violence Research Topics .

Student Research

Northeastern offers countless opportunities for students to with over 30 interdisciplinary research centers and more than 600 full-time faculty collaborating on basic and applied research in the United States and around the globe.

Criminal Justice Opportunities for Graduate and Undergraduate Students

Students in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice conduct cutting-edge research alongside our faculty experts in topics including bias victimization, urban violence, homicide and suicide, human trafficking, juvenile justice, mass incarceration, and racial equity. The School houses several centers and labs that align closely with topics covered in the criminal justice curriculum. Students of all class years in our bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs are always welcomed and encouraged to engage in research opportunities with us.

Get Involved

CRIM 2991: Research Practicum for credit (2-4 credits)

CRIM 2991 is a course designed for undergraduates who are interested in engaging in independent or group research under the supervision of a faculty member.

Honors in the Major

Undergraduate students can receive honors distinction in their major on their transcripts by successfully completing an honors research project.

Provost Office’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavor Awards The Provost’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors Awards offer financial and academic support to Northeastern students seeking to conduct original projects of their own design. 

Undergraduate Research Initiative The Undergraduate Research Initiative (URI) encourages undergraduate students in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities to carry out research and other creative activities in collaboration with, or under the close supervision of, faculty members with relevant research expertise. 

Brudnick Center Student Research Award Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict supports research that seeks solutions to problems of hostility and hatred arising from inter-group conflict and differences

Regional and National Fellowship Programs The Office of Fellowships provides assistance for students interested in applying for an array of national and regional fellowship programs.

Research experience work-study If you qualify for work-study through your financial aid package, you may use the work-study money to work as a research assistant for a professor. Students should coordinate hiring into work study position with the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Research Co-ops

You can fulfill your co-op experience by conducting research for a faculty member at Northeastern or elsewhere either domestically or abroad.

Undergraduate Research Forum CSSH invites undergraduates to submit a proposal to present at the annual Undergraduate Research Forum. Any undergraduate CSSH student who has conducted original research independently or in collaboration with a faculty member is eligible to participate. Presentations will be 10 minutes long and presenters will have the opportunity to discuss their work with the audience.

RISE Each year, in an effort to support Northeastern University’s commitment to use-inspired research and solution focused innovation, hundreds of students and faculty members embark on an exciting opportunity to showcase the research and innovative thinking of the Northeastern community at the Research, Innovation, and Scholarship Expo (RISE).

Past Projects

Student Research | The Problem Properties Task Force

Student Research | The Problem Properties Task Force

Student Research | Discrimination Faced by Women in Policing

Student Research | Discrimination Faced by Women in Policing

Student Research | Cybersecurity and Privacy Rights

Student Research | Cybersecurity and Privacy Rights

Student Research | Massachusetts Hate Crime Resource Center

Student Research | Massachusetts Hate Crime Resource Center

Student Research | Correctional Officer Well-Being

Student Research | Correctional Officer Well-Being

Featured Research Project

Understanding and measuring bias victimization against latinos.

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COVID-19 Criminology Research Projects

  • Prospective Students
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None

Members of the Institute are currently conducting new research following the impact of COVID-19 on many areas of Criminology.

Please find below a summary of the covid-19 research projects and webinars:, information on other research projects being carried out by members of the institute is available on our research projects webpage ..

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Florida State University

FSU | College of Criminology & Criminal Justice

College of Criminology & Criminal Justice

FSU’s College of Criminology and Criminal Justice is home to the nation’s number one criminology faculty in the world. Our team of experts is ranked number one in the nation for research productivity and are among the top 10 for grant acquisition, as demonstrated below. Many of our faculty are industry experts and offer extensive research on topics like gun control, biosocial criminology and social control, to name a few.

The list below contains nearly 1,000 peer-reviewed journal articles published by our faculty, many of which are co-authored with former and current graduate students. To the left is our one-of-a-kind filter box, which allows you to filter articles by topic and leverage our expertise for your personal interests and research endeavors. We hope you enjoy learning about criminology as much as we enjoy expanding the field of research.

Lastest Research

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Department of   Sociology and Criminology

Criminology faculty research, research projects we are currently investigating, eric baumer.

My current research is focused on two general questions. First, why have levels of crime fallen significantly over the past several decades? I am currently engaged in a series of studies with colleagues at Penn State and elsewhere that are directed at different dimensions of this issue, including whether recent shifts in concentrated poverty are associated with crime trends, and whether repeated cross-sectional individual-level data on youth and young adults can yield new insights about the factors associated with contemporary crime reductions. Second, in what ways do selected individual- and community-level conditions affect exposure to crime and decisions to notify the police? This research encompasses several studies, supported by funding from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Russell Sage Foundation (RSF). It integrates restricted-use household- and person-level data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) with neighborhood, city, and county data from a variety of sources to evaluate differences in crime risk and police notification between English and non-English speakers in America, and to assess the impact of a wide variety of community attributes, including neighborhood immigration context and local policing and imprisonment patterns. 

Richard Felson

My current research projects address the following questions: Why are offenders more likely to experience victimization than nonviolent offenders? For example, are offenders more likely to be victimized because they behave more aggressively during their verbal disputes? What are the risk factors for childhood sexual abuse and how do children respond when it occurs? Are rape victims assigned more blame than other victims? How have the characteristics of state inmates changed with the advent of mass incarceration? Does alcohol have a causal effect on adolescent sexual behavior or is the relationship spurious? Why did homicide increase during the Gold Rush in California?

Corina Graif

My current projects focus on two major themes. First, I study the mechanisms underlying neighborhood effects on children and youth’s exposures and involvement in risky behavior and violence, focusing among others on the role of immigration, non-cognitive skills, and institutional network infrastructure. Second, I study how individuals, opportunities, and criminogenic risks move across geographic space and transportation network channels to impact neighborhood social capital and affect inequalities in exposures to poverty, health problems, and violence. I am also working on combining natural experiments (e.g., Hurricane Katrina and the Great Recession) with big data science to inform these topics. These projects include work with Census data and ACS, Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics, LAFANS, the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) Experiment, and Vital records. My research has been supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and National Science Foundation.

Derek Kreager

I have ongoing projects in two principal research areas. First, I have several projects focused on the experiences of incarceration and community re-entry. Funded by the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health, these studies examine topics such as

  • inmate social networks
  • family visitation
  • community social integration
  • prison substance use treatment.

Second, I collaborate as part of the PROSPER Peers (PI: Osgood, funded by NIH) team to examine adolescent social networks and health-risk behaviors. In particular, my research here focuses on adolescent romantic relationships and sexual development.

Holly Nguyen

I am currently engaged in several collaborative research projects. My colleagues and I are conducting surveys with inmates in a Pennsylvania State Correctional Facility to further understand how experiences with, rewards from and perceptions of various income generating activities are related to successful reentry. In another collaborative project (funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council), my colleagues and I are conducting randomized experiments to disentangle the mechanisms of deviant modeling on subsequent deviant behavior. I am also using various sources of secondary data to investigate my three general areas of interest, rewards to crime, groups and crime and illicit drug markets.

Wayne Osgood

My main current research endeavor is the PROSPER Peers Project, which is a study of adolescents’ friendship networks in relation to delinquency and substance use, which is embedded in an evaluation of prevention programs, to which communities were randomly assigned. The study is especially large and long-term, following over 10,000 students from 6th through 9th grades in 27 small school districts in Pennsylvania and Iowa. I lead a large research team that includes faculty members and students here at Penn State and former students and collaborators at several other universities. At last count, the study had yielded 25 published articles (most in leading journals and many with student co-authors), plus several doctoral dissertations.

David Ramey

I am involved in multiple research projects spanning a broad range of topics. I am currently working on a funding proposal for a project examining the diffusion of school accountability, disability, and disciplinary policies over the last half-century. The goals of this project include answering how school and district disciplinary/disability practices responded to changes in legislation over time and across states, whether state legislation and/or district policies influence the use of punishment or the diagnoses of behavior disorders in elementary and middle school children and whether state legislation and school/district policies contribute to racial and socioeconomic disparities in behavior and academic performance. In addition to work on school punishment and medicalization, I am also involved in one other project examining factors associated with the “militarization” of law enforcement using a large dataset containing information on every piece of equipment provided by the U.S. Department of Defense to local law enforcement agencies through the 1033 Program, including firearms, uniforms, and vehicles. Moving forward, I hope to examine how police militarization influences police use of force, including responses to protests or civil unrest, widespread violence or perceived violence, and instances of police-involved shootings.

Eric Silver

Currently, I’m working on papers examining the relationship between people’s moral values and their willingness to engage in deviant acts, as well as their endorsement of punitive criminal justice policies and practices.

Jeremy Staff

Darrell steffensmeier.

Current research projects include: patterns and correlates of white collar & corporate crime; international assessment of the relation between age and crime; variation in organization of crime by type of crime or illegal market; effects of gender, race, ethnicity, and age on criminal sentencing; and impact of place (neighborhood, community, country) on patterns and levels of crime.

Jeffrey Ulmer

I have several ongoing projects, including:

  • a long-range research agenda focusing on differences between social contexts in court processes and punishment, and inequalities in criminal sentencing at the state and federal levels (partly funded by the National Science Foundation)
  • a study of racial and ethnic disparity in Pennsylvania’s death penalty, including prosecutorial discretion to seek it and court decisions to impose it (funded by state and private foundation grants)
  • a study of criminal victimization affecting religious congregations (funded by the National Science Foundation)
  • studies of how local religious contexts affect local crime rates and criminal punishment.
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Criminology - Research Guide: Getting started

  • Getting started
  • Sources for Lit Reviews
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The Penn Libraries criminology collection began with modern criminology itself, guided by Professor Thorsten Sellin and his successor Professor Marvin Wolfgang. Generously supported by the Lipman Criminology Library Fund since 1985 and benefiting from the 1996 donation of Dr Sellin's books and journals , the criminology collection continues as a strength of the Penn Libraries social sciences collections.

A good historical overview of the Penn's academic program is provided in "Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania" , in The Origins of American Criminology / Francis T Cullen et al., eds. (A dvances in Criminological Theory vol. 16 (2011): 159-220.

Recent Publications from Penn Criminology Faculty

Newbooks+ @ penn libraries: criminology, reference works.

Reference works make excellent starting points for research; they provide concise articles on key topics by scholars of the field, often accompanied by suggestions for further reading. The sources listed below are print volumes shelved in the Van Pelt Library Reference Stacks , on the first floor of Van Pelt, unless otherwise noted.

Cover Art

  • Compendium of Research on violence against women, 1993-2016. (National Institute of Justice, 2017) Annually-updated reference work describing every NIJ-funded research project on violence against women since 1993.

Cover Art

  • ASC Division on Corrections & Sentencing Handbook Series Ebook series sponsored by the American Society of Criminology.

Cover Art

  • Elsevier's dictionary of criminal science, in eight languages : English/American, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, and German. Call Number: Available online Publication Date: Elsevier, 1960

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428 Criminology Research Topics & Questions for Students

428 Criminology Research Topics & Questions for Students

As you might already know, criminology is the study of crime. To be more precise, criminology studies crime as a social trend, including its origin, various manifestations, and its impact on society.

Criminology research influences how the police work, how society treats criminals, and how the community maintains law and order. In this article, you’ll find top criminology research topics for your inspiration. We’ll also look into the main criminology theories and research methods and explain the difference between criminology and criminal justice.

🔝 Top-10 Criminology Research Topics

🔤 what is criminology.

  • 🔎 Criminology Research Methods
  • 📝 Research Topics for Assignments

🦹‍♂️ Crime Research Topics

  • 🚔 Topics in Law Enforcement
  • 🕵️ Criminal Investigation Topics

⚖️ Criminal Law Research Topics

  • 🔒 Topics to Research in Crime Prevention

🧑‍⚖️ Criminal Justice Research Topics

  • 🆚 Criminology Vs Criminal Justice

❓ Criminology Topics: FAQ

🔗 references.

  • Criminology as a science: criminology theories.
  • The importance of eyewitness evidence.
  • The issue of racial bias in the investigation.
  • Crime propaganda on social media.
  • The leading causes of college violence.
  • The benefits of private prisons.
  • The debate around gun control.
  • The analysis of power abuse among police officers.
  • Drunk driving and how to prevent it.
  • The importance of forensic psychology in the investigation.

Criminology is the study of crime and criminal behavior, supported by the principles of sociology and other sciences, including economics, statistics, and psychology.

Criminologists study a variety of related areas, including:

  • Characteristics of people who commit crimes.
  • Reasons behind committing different crimes.
  • Impact of crime on individuals and communities.
  • Measures for preventing crimes.

Criminology Theories

Criminology theories have appeared as an attempt to answer the question, “What is criminal behavior, and what causes it?” The answer to this question affects how society responds to and prevents crime. Proposing new theories and testing existing ones is essential for criminologists to continue working toward understanding the causes of criminal behavior.

Let’s consider the most relevant criminology theories.

🔎 Research Methods Used in Criminology

There are many research methods used within criminology. Usually, they are divided into two groups: primary and secondary research methods.

Primary Research Methods in Criminology

Primary research in criminology is any type of research that you collect yourself rather than based on secondary sources, such as articles or books. Examples of primary research methods in criminology include the following:

  • Surveys and questionnaires. Survey research collects information from individuals through their responses to questions. It is considered one of the most widely used research tools in criminology.
  • Experiments. For experiments , researchers take large samples of people who might become or have already been involved in crimes as victims or offenders. Then, they divide these samples into two groups, each receiving a different treatment.
  • Interviews. An interview requires participants to answer a set of open-ended questions, often on sensitive topics, such as victimization or criminal behaviors. This method allows criminologists to gain more valuable insights into the research topic.
  • Focus groups. A focus group is a small number of demographically similar people gathered to discuss a particular crime-related topic. This method allows criminologists to analyze people’s views, attitudes, and perceptions concerning crime.
  • Observations. Observations involve a researcher studying groups or individuals in their natural setting without interfering. It is a common research method within the social learning theory.

This image shows primary research methods in criminology.

Secondary Criminology Research Methods

Secondary research methods use information that was collected by someone else so that you can analyze it and identify the trends. Here are the two leading types of secondary research in criminology:

  • Secondary analysis of data. A secondary analysis occurs when a researcher uses data collected by other researchers. You can obtain secondary data from surveys, official crime statistics, or official records.
  • Literature review. A literature review involves reading, analyzing, evaluating, and summarizing literature about a specific criminology topic. It helps scholars identify research gaps and problems that need to be addressed.

📝 Criminology Research Topics for Assignments

To write an outstanding research paper on criminology, choose a topic that will spark your interest. Below you’ll find excellent criminology topic ideas for college students.

Criminology Research Paper Topics

  • Criminology theory and its main elements.
  • Criminology discipline and theories .
  • American crime trends and criminological theories.
  • The significance of criminological studies in the US.
  • Criminology: legal rights afforded to the accused .
  • The impact of violence and crime on the tourism industry.
  • How did US crime rates change over the last 20 years?
  • Classical and positivist schools of criminology .
  • Should abortion be treated as a crime?
  • Official and unofficial instruments within the criminal investigation.
  • Criminology: femininity and the upsurge of ladettes .
  • Criminal rehabilitation programs and their significance.
  • Shoplifting and how to prevent it.
  • Emerging technologies in criminology .
  • The effects of illegal immigrants on crime rates.
  • Drug trafficking by organized crime groups.
  • Criminology and victimology: victim stereotypes in criminal justice .
  • Can genetics lead to crime?
  • The procedures of crime scene investigation.
  • Labeling theory and critical criminology: sociological research .
  • Hate crimes in modern society.
  • The phenomenon of white-collar crime and its causes.
  • How to prevent crimes in the workplace?
  • Criminology: the social control theory .
  • Stereotypes that surround serial killers and their crimes.
  • The comparison of organized crime in New York and Chicago.
  • Prevention strategies for small business crimes.
  • Criminology: four types of evidence .
  • Relations between crime, justice, and the media.

Criminology Research Proposal Topics

  • How to prevent intellectual property crimes in cyberspace?
  • Identity theft and cybercrime in modern society.
  • Contemporary theories in criminology .
  • The problem of racial profiling in the US.
  • How has criminology contributed to the study of terrorism ?
  • Possible solutions to the issue of street harassment .
  • Postmodern criminology: the violence of the language .
  • Gender bias in the investigation: pink-collar criminals.
  • The phenomenon of digital terrorism and how to prevent it.
  • How do immigration services help fight against terrorism?
  • Green criminology: environmental harm in the Niger Delta .
  • How has marijuana legalization influenced crime rates?
  • Tools for collecting and analyzing crime evidence.
  • How does international law manage war crimes ?
  • The due process: criminology .
  • What are victimless crimes ?
  • The relation between crime rates and poverty.
  • National system for missing and unidentified persons.
  • Three case briefs in criminology .
  • The impact of mental illness on criminal behavior.
  • The effectiveness of rehabilitation programs in reducing crime rates.
  • The use of AI technology in crime prevention and investigation.
  • Sexual assault: criminology .
  • The role of media coverage in public perception of crime.
  • The impact of community policing on reducing crime rates.
  • The impact of mass shootings on gun control laws.
  • The impact of automation technology on criminology .

Criminology Thesis Topics

  • The role of juvenile justice in preventing future criminal behavior.
  • Feminism and criminology in the modern justice system .
  • The effectiveness of mandatory minimum sentencing in the US.
  • Drug laws : fighting crime or fueling it?
  • Police brutality : a systemic problem in criminal justice.
  • Criminology: USA Patriot Act overview .
  • The impact of hate crimes on marginalized communities.
  • How does organized crime affect the global economy?
  • The significance of DNA evidence for criminal investigations.
  • Use of statistics in criminal justice and criminology .
  • The ethics of plea bargaining in criminal cases.
  • Mental illness and criminal behavior: breaking the stigma.
  • The impact of social media on cyberbullying and harassment.
  • Robert Merton’s strain theory in criminology .
  • Causes and consequences of police corruption .
  • The role of restorative justice in repairing harm caused by crime.
  • The effectiveness of treatment programs in reducing drug-related crimes.
  • Hernando Washington case: criminology .
  • The negative effects of human trafficking on global communities.
  • The role of forensic science in crimes investigation.
  • The effectiveness of community-based alternatives to imprisonment.
  • Integrity as a key value: criminology and war .
  • The relationship between poverty, education, and crime rates.
  • Cybercrime : the dark side of the digital age.
  • Hate crimes: motivations and impact on modern society.
  • Feminist perspectives’ contribution to criminology .
  • The impact of incarceration on families and communities.

Criminology Research Questions for Dissertation

  • Can criminal profiling accurately predict offender behavior?
  • How do hate crimes affect individuals and communities?
  • How were the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights influenced by the classical school of criminology ?
  • What are the psychological effects of cyberbullying on victims?
  • What factors contribute to domestic violence , and how can it be prevented?
  • How have organized crime groups evolved over time?
  • How is statistics used in criminology and criminal justice ?
  • Is the death penalty an effective crime deterrent?
  • What motivates individuals to engage in white-collar crime?
  • What are the consequences of police corruption for society?
  • What is variance analysis in criminal justice and criminology ?
  • How does drug addiction contribute to criminal behavior?
  • How does gender influence criminal behavior and justice outcomes?
  • What drives individuals to commit mass shootings?
  • What is the broken window theory in criminology ?
  • What are the biggest challenges facing criminal justice reform efforts?
  • How do urban gangs perpetuate violence and criminal activity?
  • How do criminal law and procedures protect individual rights and liberties?
  • What is the impact of corporate fraud ?
  • What challenges do individuals with mental health issues face in the criminal justice system?
  • How can society combat human trafficking and exploitation?
  • What measures can be taken to enhance cybersecurity and protect against cybercrime?
  • What is the aboriginal crisis from a criminology perspective ?
  • How can victimology help us better understand the experience of crime victims?
  • What are effective crime prevention strategies for different types of crime?
  • What is legal insanity in criminology ?
  • How does environmental crime impact communities and the environment?
  • How is the peace-making model applied in criminology ?

A significant part of criminology research is dedicated to various types of crimes and their reasons. Consider our crime topic ideas that will spark instant interest in your readers:

  • The psychological impact of kidnapping on victims and their families.
  • The racialization of crime and cultural panic .
  • The ethical considerations surrounding ransom payments in kidnapping cases.
  • The effect of burglary on small businesses and their ability to recover.
  • The impact of race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status on homicide rates and patterns.
  • Shoplifting: a crime of convenience .
  • The effectiveness of different types of anti-theft devices in preventing motor vehicle theft.
  • The role of forensic science in investigating arson cases, including the use of accelerant detection dogs.
  • The concept of natural legal crime .
  • The psychological profiles of white-collar criminals and their motivations.
  • The psychological effects of burglary on victims and their sense of security.
  • The concept of juvenile crime .
  • The role of social media in facilitating and preventing kidnappings.
  • The use of forensic evidence in homicide investigations and the challenges of prosecuting homicide cases.
  • Sex crime recidivism rates.
  • Illegal immigrantion and its effects on crime .
  • The effectiveness of international efforts to combat money laundering .
  • The efficacy of community watch programs in reducing burglary rates.
  • The role of corporate culture in facilitating or preventing white-collar crime.
  • Crimes in America: the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks .
  • Technology in motor vehicle theft: GPS tracking and remote disabling systems.
  • Human trafficking and the exploitation of vulnerable populations.
  • Crime and criminals: general characteristics .
  • The ethical and moral implications of capital punishment as a response to homicide.
  • The effectiveness of fire prevention and education programs in reducing instances of arson.
  • US gun control measures and crime rates reduction .
  • The use of cryptocurrency in money laundering and illegal activities.
  • White-collar crime and the abuse of power in corporate and financial settings.
  • Cargo crimes and threats: government accountability office .
  • The rise of cyberstalking and its impact on victims’ mental health.
  • The effects of pollution on communities and the legal response to environmental crimes.
  • Cyber-bullying and cyber-stalking as crimes .
  • The effects of society’s reaction to crime.
  • The use of technology in financial fraud schemes .
  • Crimes against property and their characteristics .
  • The intersection of racism and hate crimes against Asian Americans.
  • The impact of deforestation on indigenous communities and wildlife.
  • Crime types and their harm to society .
  • The prevalence of domestic violence and the legal response to it.
  • The exploitation of child labor in the fashion industry .
  • Race and crime among minorities in the US .
  • The ethical implications of using artificial intelligence in law enforcement.
  • The psychological effects of hate crimes on victims and their communities.
  • How does local television news viewing relate to fear of crime ?
  • The evolution of cybercrime and its most common types.
  • Parental responsibility for children’s crimes.
  • The sex crime: influence of childhood experiences .
  • Prostitution : a victimless crime.
  • Sociology and media representation of crime.
  • The profile of a crime victim .
  • A theory of gendered criminology: women’s crime.

🚔 Research Topics in Law Enforcement

Another exciting area within criminology to investigate is law enforcement and police jobs. Have a look at the list of burning and controversial topics we came up with:

  • The impact of community policing on crime rates and public trust.
  • Law enforcement: online crimes and social media .
  • Do body-worn cameras reduce police misconduct?
  • The effects of implicit bias on the police use of force.
  • Law enforcement cameras as an invasion of privacy .
  • The impact of police militarization on community relations.
  • Why is mental health training essential for police officers in crisis situations?
  • Law enforcement officers’ attitudes regarding body-worn cameras .
  • The role of police in addressing hate crimes and bias incidents.
  • The effectiveness of community-based alternatives to traditional policing.
  • Organizational changes in law enforcement agencies .
  • The efficacy of police-community partnership in addressing gang violence.
  • The impact of police officer diversity on community relations and trust.
  • Local, state, and federal law enforcement in the US .
  • The role of police in addressing cybercrime and online harassment.
  • The effects of police body language and nonverbal cues on public perceptions.
  • Cumulative career traumatic stress in law enforcement .
  • Social media and its role in shaping public perceptions of police behavior.
  • The role of police discretion in enforcing drug laws and addressing addiction.
  • Mindfulness practice in law enforcement .
  • The effectiveness of hot spot policing in reducing crime rates.
  • Organizational culture in the police department.
  • Stress in law enforcement officers and available programs .
  • The role of police leadership in promoting ethical behavior and accountability.
  • The effectiveness of community-based justice programs for juvenile offenders.
  • Law enforcement in colonial America .
  • Police-community partnerships for addressing domestic violence.
  • The role of police in addressing human trafficking and exploitation.
  • Misrepresentation of law enforcement by media .
  • School safety and the police.
  • How does stress affect the performance of law enforcement officers?
  • The law enforcement: verbal communication as the best form of interaction .
  • The significance of federal and state law enforcement mechanisms.
  • The adverse effects of toxic leadership in quality law enforcement.
  • Balance between effective law enforcement and personal liberty .
  • The importance of discipline in public services.
  • The connection between police salary and rates of police brutality.
  • Role of police agencies in law enforcement .
  • Police investigative questioning and techniques.
  • The issue of corruption in law enforcement.
  • Significance of computer forensics to law enforcement .
  • Case study: police response to the Ningbo protest.
  • Police actions to stop school bullying .
  • Law enforcement position in society .
  • New technological advances within the police department.
  • Do law enforcement cameras violate privacy right?
  • Different types of evaluation designs in law enforcement .
  • Recognition of women’s right to work as police officers.
  • The effectiveness of foot and bike patrols of the streets.
  • Firearms types and usage in law enforcement .
  • The competencies of international law enforcement authorities.
  • Comparison of police brutality statistics for different genders.
  • Ethical theories in law enforcement practice .

🕵️ Criminal Investigation Research Topics

The criminal investigation process is another criminology area worth discussing in your research paper. Below you’ll find the most intriguing criminal investigation topics:

  • The history and evolution of criminal investigation techniques.
  • Crime scene investigation in media and real life .
  • The role of forensic science in criminal investigations.
  • How does technology impact modern criminal investigations?
  • The importance of preserving crime scenes and evidence.
  • Crime scene investigation effect in the justice system .
  • The ethics of interrogation techniques used in criminal investigations.
  • Eyewitness testimony in criminal investigations.
  • The role of criminal profiling in solving crimes.
  • Organized business crime prosecution and investigation .
  • How does media coverage affect criminal investigations?
  • The use of informants in criminal investigations.
  • The main challenges of investigating white-collar crimes.
  • Undercover police investigations in drug-related crimes .
  • The role of private investigators in criminal investigations.
  • The impact of false confessions on criminal investigations.
  • How is DNA evidence collected in criminal investigations?
  • Importance of toxicology in crime investigation .
  • The role of the FBI in national criminal investigations.
  • The use of undercover operations in criminal investigations.
  • The main challenges of investigating organized crime.
  • Crime level investigation in the United States .
  • Witness protection programs in criminal investigations.
  • The impact of plea bargaining on criminal investigations.
  • Surveillance techniques in criminal investigations.
  • Investigating crime with age and mental illnesses factors .
  • How are cybercrimes investigated?
  • The role of international cooperation in criminal investigations.
  • How do racial biases influence criminal investigations?
  • Drug trafficking: investigation on Frank Lucas .
  • Polygraph tests in criminal investigations.
  • The main challenges of investigating terrorism-related crimes.
  • Homicide investigations and forensic evidence .
  • The role of victim advocacy in criminal investigations.
  • Lie detector tests in criminal investigations.
  • The role of forensic psychology in the investigation .
  • The effects of community involvement on criminal investigations.
  • The problem of false accusations in criminal investigations.
  • Approaches in criminal investigation .
  • The use of forensic accounting in financial crime investigations.
  • How does the media shape public perception of criminal investigations?
  • Key rulings on the conduct of investigators at the scene of a fire .
  • The impact of political pressure on criminal investigations.
  • The main challenges of investigating human trafficking.
  • The Breonna Taylor case and criminal investigation .
  • The role of victim compensation in criminal investigations.
  • Behavioral analysis in criminal investigations.
  • Procedures within crime scene investigation .
  • Crime scene reconstruction in criminal investigations.

Criminology goes hand-in-hand with legal studies. If you’re interested in both areas, you should definitely write a research paper on one of the criminal law research topics:

  • The evolution of criminal law in the US .
  • Criminal law: stolen valor .
  • The difference between criminal and civil law.
  • Human trafficking and criminal law.
  • Types of criminal offenses and the elements of crime.
  • International criminal law and measures .
  • The role of the burden of proof in criminal cases.
  • Criminal defenses and their validity.
  • The insanity defense in criminal law.
  • Actus reus in English criminal law .
  • The controversies around the death penalty.
  • Juvenile delinquency and criminal law.
  • Cybercrime and its legal implications.
  • Criminal law – is graffiti a crime or not ?
  • Domestic violence and criminal law.
  • Hate crimes and their legal consequences.
  • Restitution for victims in criminal law.
  • Civil vs. criminal law and differences between them .
  • Forensic evidence and its admissibility in court.
  • Sexual assault and criminal law.
  • The rights of the accused in criminal cases.
  • Regulatory criminal laws in the criminal justice system .
  • Receiving immunity for testimony in a criminal law case.
  • The legal classification of criminal offenses.
  • Self-defense in criminal law cases.
  • How Canadian criminal law regulates deviant conduct .
  • Sentencing guidelines and their impact on society.
  • The use of DNA evidence in criminal cases.
  • Eyewitness testimony and its reliability in court.
  • Fundamental aspects of Canadian criminal law .
  • The role of the media in criminal trials.
  • The impact of social inequality on criminal justice outcomes.
  • The future of criminal law and its impact on society.
  • Criminal law in India and access to justice .
  • International criminal law and its enforcement.
  • Extradition and its legal implications.
  • The impact of globalization on criminal law.
  • Juvenile vs. adult criminal law .
  • The importance of victim rights in criminal cases.
  • Restorative justice and its benefits for society.
  • Alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders.
  • Automatism as a defence in criminal law .
  • The role of defense attorneys in criminal trials.
  • The role of prosecutors in criminal trials.
  • The right to a public trial in a criminal law case.
  • Civil and criminal law penalties and differences .
  • Car searches in criminal investigations by law enforcement.

🔒 Criminology Topics for Research in Crime Prevention

Researching crime prevention allows you to learn more about the strategies for reducing criminal behavior. Have a look at our outstanding crime prevention topic ideas:

  • Understanding and explaining crime prevention.
  • Theories that explain criminal activities and criminology .
  • The effectiveness of community policing in preventing crime.
  • The benefits and drawbacks of crime prevention in the US.
  • How can education reduce crime rates?
  • Crime prevention programs and criminal rehabilitation .
  • Technological innovations and their impact on crime prevention.
  • The importance of early childhood interventions in preventing criminal behavior.
  • The relationship between poverty and crime prevention strategies.
  • Youth crime prevention and needs assessment .
  • The use of restorative justice in reducing recidivism.
  • The effectiveness of gun control laws in preventing gun-related crimes.
  • The impact of social media on crime prevention and awareness.
  • Crime prevention program in Australia .
  • The use of CCTV cameras in preventing crime.
  • Evidence for crime prevention programs in developing countries.
  • The role of mental health services in preventing criminal behavior.
  • Crime prevention practices: overview .
  • The effectiveness of community-based programs in reducing juvenile delinquency.
  • The use of environmental design in preventing crime by shaping space and behavior.
  • Victim support programs for lowering crime rates.
  • Situational and social crime prevention approaches .
  • The effectiveness of after-school programs in preventing juvenile offenses.
  • Techniques for preventing situational and social crime.
  • The impact of citizen participation in crime prevention.
  • Computer crime prevention measures .
  • The efficacy of community watch programs in preventing neighborhood crimes.
  • The use of community centers for preventing gang-related crimes.
  • The impact of sentencing policies on crime prevention.
  • Biometrics recognition and crime prevention .
  • The relationship between video game violence and youth crime .
  • Social media and cybercrime prevention.
  • The role of social workers in crime prevention.
  • Three-strikes law for preventing violent crimes .
  • Decreasing crime rates through education and medicine.
  • The use of animal-assisted therapy for reducing criminal behavior.
  • The effectiveness of aftercare programs in reducing recidivism.
  • Capital punishment as ineffective crime deterrence .
  • The main strategies for proactive crime prevention.
  • The impact of domestic violence prevention programs on crime rates.
  • The use of probation and parole in preventing criminal behavior.
  • Juvenile weapon crimes and strategies to address .
  • The role of faith-based organizations in crime prevention.
  • The use of diversion programs in juvenile crime prevention.
  • The distinctions between crime prevention and community safety.
  • Preventing crime victimization in international students .
  • The impact of agriculture and rural development on crime prevention.

Criminal justice might be a challenging research topic, but it is worth the time and effort. Consider our unique topic ideas for your successful research:

  • The effectiveness of community policing.
  • The use of statistics in criminal justice and criminology .
  • Rehabilitation programs offered in prisons and their efficacy.
  • The importance of defense attorneys in the criminal justice system.
  • The code of ethics in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice .
  • The significance of restorative justice programs.
  • The impact of mandatory minimum sentencing laws.
  • Criminal justice process: felony criminal charge .
  • The role of judges in the criminal justice system.
  • Probation and parole in the criminal justice system.
  • Veterans in the criminal justice system .
  • The comparison of prison privatization in the US and UK.
  • The main issues women experience in the prison system.
  • US terrorism and criminal justice decision-making model .
  • The prison system in a democratic society.
  • The role of psychologists in the criminal justice system.
  • Transgender offenders in the criminal justice system .
  • The impact of private prisons on crime rates.
  • The effectiveness of victim compensation programs.
  • The successes and failures to reform punishment in the criminal justice system .
  • Community involvement in the criminal justice system.
  • The main challenges of long-term prisoner rehabilitation.
  • Technology application in criminal justice .
  • The role of victim-offender mediation in the criminal justice system.
  • Gender disparity in the criminal justice system.
  • Recidivism in criminal justice: the American prison system .
  • How does solitary confinement impact people in prisons?
  • Legal and ethical issues in international intervention.
  • Racial and ethnic disparities in the criminal justice system .
  • Do mandatory minimum sentences help or hurt?
  • The effects of prison on children of incarcerated individuals.
  • Psychopathy in the criminal justice system .
  • The importance of mental health professionals in the criminal justice system.
  • Techniques for influencing criminal justice system change.
  • Non-inclusiveness of the criminal justice system .
  • The impact of racial profiling on the criminal justice system.
  • The effectiveness of diversion programs for veterans.
  • False confessions in the US criminal justice system .
  • Racism in the criminal justice system of the US.
  • People with disabilities and criminal justice.
  • Ethical dilemmas in the criminal justice system .
  • Forensic psychology guidelines for criminal justice.
  • The impact of technology on jury selection .
  • Effective writing and criminal justice .
  • The effectiveness of mandatory drug testing for probationers and parolees.
  • The effect of wrongful executions on the criminal justice system.
  • Discontinuity of care in the criminal justice system .
  • The influence of media on criminal justice and community.
  • The impact of cybercrime on the global criminal justice system.
  • Criminal justice: coerced confessions .
  • The role of private prisons in the criminal justice system.
  • The effectiveness of diversion programs for people without housing.
  • Criminal justice system and the problem of racism .
  • What can be learned from the history of criminal courts?
  • Comparison between American and British legislative frameworks.
  • Criminal justice case: types of sentences, probation, and final decision .
  • The overview of the modern justice system.
  • The ethical issue of unwarranted arrests.
  • Civil liability in criminal justice .
  • The risk groups of juvenile recidivism .

🆚 Difference between Criminology and Criminal Justice

Students often confuse criminology with criminal justice because both areas study crime and criminal behavior. Understanding their main differences is essential before conducting research in any of these areas.

Is Criminology a Science?

Criminology can be considered as a science because it uses the scientific method. The scientific method involves five steps: stating the problem, forming the hypothesis, collecting the data, interpreting these data, and drawing conclusions. Within criminology, scientists use standard research methods, such as surveys, experiments, interviews, etc.

What Does Criminology Study?

Criminology studies crime, including its causes, methods of prevention, and responses from law enforcement. It relies on other non-legal studies, such as sociology, psychology, and statistics, to examine the characteristics of people who commit crimes and the effects of criminality on individuals and society.

What Are the Principal Areas of Criminology Research?

Four significant criminology areas include:

  • The history of criminology . This area focuses on criminology founders and theories of crime and punishment development.
  • Theory of crime causation . This aspect explores if a criminal’s behavior is determined by their social environment.
  • Typologies of crime . This field describes different types of crimes and the reasons for committing them.
  • Crime prevention efforts . This area studies crime measures that can curb crimes before they occur.

What Are the Principal Types of Research Methods in Criminology?

Criminology uses quantitative (analyzing measurements and statistics) and qualitative (analyzing non-numerical data) research methods to gain valuable insights. The most common scientific methods in criminology are surveys, experiments, secondary data analysis, interviews, historical/comparative research, and ethnography.

  • Criminology and Criminal Justice: Pick a Topic | Marquette University
  • Criminology Questions & Topics | David H. Kessel
  • Topics | Ghent University
  • Emergent Issues in Crime & Justice | University of Maryland
  • Qualitative Research in Criminal Justice | University of North Texas
  • Criminology, Law & Society | UCI Libraries
  • What the Data Says (and Doesn’t Say) about Crime in the United States | Pew Research Center
  • Types of Criminal Offenses | Justia
  • Criminal Justice and Criminology Theses | East Tennessee State University
  • Research Overview | The University of Alabama
  • Criminology Research | University of Portsmouth
  • Research | Arizona State University
  • Research Themes | University of Surrey, Centre for Criminology
  • Advanced Criminology & Criminal Justice Research Guide | Mardigian Library
  • Criminology – Research Guide: Getting Started | PennLibraries
  • Law and Criminology | University of Plymouth
  • Topics for a Criminology Research Paper | Classroom
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Undertaking research is the core function of the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC). The AIC conducts research on a range of crime and justice issues to provide timely, policy-relevant research to the Australian Government and other key stakeholders.

The research priorities for the AIC are set annually by the Director, in consultation with the Criminology Research Advisory Council. In 2023-24 the research priorities are:

  • Indigenous over-representation in the criminal justice system
  • Transnational serious and organised crime
  • Economic crime
  • Family, domestic and sexual violence
  • Human trafficking and modern slavery
  • Online sexual exploitation of children

This annual priority setting process allows the AIC to be responsive to new and emerging areas of concern to Australian governments. Research undertaken in previous years in response to other priorities can be found in the publications archive.

In addition to the current priorities, the AIC has an ongoing crime and justice statistical monitoring program as well as responsibility for responding to requests for research from stakeholders.

In 2023-24, the AIC will release statistical publications on:

  • Fraud against the Commonwealth 2022–23
  • Deaths in custody in Australia 2022–23
  • Homicide in Australia 2021–22
  • Australian sexual offences 2021 – 22
  • Human trafficking and modern slavery 2022 –23

Through its research, the AIC plays a key role in informing debate on crime and justice issues of national importance. This can include undertaking new projects on emerging issues that extend beyond the research priorities, allowing the AIC to be agile in its response to policy concerns. It also plays a role in disseminating research through its library services, as well as through conferences and the media.

256 Research Topics on Criminal Justice & Criminology

Are you a law school student studying criminal behavior or forensic science? Or maybe just looking for good criminal justice topics, questions, and hypotheses? Look no further! Custom-writing.org experts offer a load of criminology research topics and titles for every occasion. Criminological theories, types of crime, the role of media in criminology, and more. Our topics will help you prepare for a college-level assignment, debate, or essay writing. 

  • ⚖️ Criminology vs. Criminal Justice
  • 🔬 120 Criminology Research Topics
  • 💂 116 Criminal Justice Research Topics

🔦 What Is Criminology?

👮 what is criminal justice, 🔍 references, ⚖️ criminology vs. criminal justice: topics & fields of study.

Criminology. Criminal justice. The terms are often confused even by the people within the field. Nevertheless, criminal justice and criminology are two different spheres. Therefore, these terms are not interchangeable.

Criminology and criminal justice are indeed related. Say, you are pursuing career opportunities in either of the fields. Then, you need to be able to answer the question: what’s the difference between criminology and criminal justice?

To put it simply, criminology studies the anatomy of a crime. More specifically, it explores the causes, costs, and consequences of it. Criminal justice is different from criminology in the sphere it covers. It is the system established for dealing with crimes: the ways of detection, detention, prosecution, and punishment. In short, think of criminal justice as a part of law enforcement.

This chapter just touched on the differences between criminal justice and criminology. If you wish to learn more about the topic, go to chapters IV, and V. Now is the time to move on to criminology research topics!

🔥 Hot Criminology Research Topics

  • The role of media in criminology.
  • Cultural explanation of crime.
  • Benefits of convict criminology.
  • Main issues of postmodern criminology.
  • Is criminal behavior affected by the politics?
  • How does DAWN collect data?
  • The limitations of crime mapping.
  • Personality traits that trigger criminal behavior.
  • Community deterioration and crime rates.
  • Does experimental criminology affect social policy?

🔬 120 Criminology Research Topics & Ideas

Here are 100 criminology research topics ideas organized by themes.

General Criminology Research Paper Topics

  • Criminology as a social science.
  • Criminology and its public policies.
  • History of criminology.
  • Crime commission: legal and social perspectives .

Criminal Psychology Research Topics

  • What is the nature of criminal behavior?
  • How does the lack of education affect the incarceration rates?
  • Childhood aggression and the impact of divorce
  • The effect of the upbringing on antisocial adult behavior
  • How do gender and cultural background affect one’s attitude towards drug abuse ?
  • Forensic psychology and its impact on the legal system
  • What is the role of criminal psychologists?
  • Different types of forensic psychological evaluations
  • What’s the difference between therapeutic and forensic evaluation?
  • Does socioeconomic status impact one’s criminal behavior?

Criminology Research Topics: Theories

  • What crimes are typical for what ages?
  • How does the type of crime correspond with the level of exerted aggression ?
  • What is the connection between citizenship (or lack thereof) and law violation?
  • How does education (or lack thereof) correspond with crime level?
  • Does employment (or lack thereof) correspond with law violation?
  • What is the connection between family status and law violation?
  • Does gender affect on the type of law violation?
  • How does ownership of firearms correspond with law violation?
  • Does immigrant status correlate with law violation?

Crime and Victimization in Criminology.

  • Is there a connection between mental health and law violation?
  • What are the causes of violence in the society?
  • Does the crime rate depend on the neighborhood?
  • How does race correspond with the type of crime?
  • Do religious beliefs correspond with law violation?
  • How does social class correlate with crime rate?
  • What are the reasons for the homeless’ improsonment?
  • How does weather correspond with law violation?

Criminology Topics on Victimization

  • Biological theories of crime: how do biological factors correspond with law violation?
  • Classical criminology: the contemporary take on crime, economics, deterrence, and the rational choice perspective.
  • Convict criminology: what do ex-convicts have to say on the subject?
  • Criminal justice theories: punishment as a deterrent to crime.
  • Critical criminology : debunking false ideas about crime and criminal justice.
  • Cultural criminology: criminality as the product of culture.
  • Cultural transmission theory: how criminal norms are transmitted in social interaction.
  • Deterrence theory: how people don’t commit crimes out of fear of punishment.
  • Rational choice theory : how crime doing is aligned with personal objectives of the perpetrator.
  • Feminist Criminology: how the dominant crime theories exclude women.
  • Labeling and symbolic interaction theories: how minorities and those deviating from social norms tend to be negatively labeled.
  • Life course criminology : how life events affect the actions that humans perform.
  • Psychological theories of crime: criminal behavior through the lense of an individual’s personality.
  • Routine activities theory : how normal everyday activities affect the tendency to commit a crime.
  • The concept of natural legal crime.
  • Self-control theory: how the lack of individual self-control results in criminal behavior.
  • Social construction of crime: crime doing as social response.
  • Social control theory : how positive socialization corresponds with reduction of criminal violation.
  • Social disorganization theory: how neighborhood ecological characteristics correspond with crime rates.
  • Social learning theory: how (non)criminal behavior can be acquired by observing and imitating others.
  • Strain theories : how social structures within society pressure citizens to commit crime.
  • Theoretical integration: how two theories are better than one.

Criminology Research and Measurement Topics

  • Citation content analysis (CCA): a framework for gaining knowledge from a variety of media.
  • Crime classification systems: classification of crime according to the severity of punishment.
  • Crime mapping as a way to map, visualize, and analyze crime incident patterns.
  • Reports and statistics of crime: the estimated rate of crime over time. Public surveys.
  • Drug abuse warning network (DAWN): predicting trends in drug misuse.
  • Arrestee drug abuse monitoring (ADAM): drug use among arrestees.
  • Edge ethnography: collecting data undercover in typically closed research settings and groups through rapport development or covert undercover strategy.
  • Experimental criminology: experimental and quasi-experimental research in the advancement of criminological theory.
  • Fieldwork in criminology: street ethnographers and their dilemmas in the field concerning process and outcomes.
  • Program evaluation: collecting and analyzing information to assess the efficiency of projects, policies and programs.
  • Quantitative criminology: how exploratory research questions, inductive reasoning, and an orientation to social context help recognize human subjectivity.

Criminology Topics on Types of Crime

  • Campus crime: the most common crimes on college campuses and ways of preventing them.
  • Child abuse : types, prevalence, risk groups, ways of detection and prevention.
  • Cybercrime: cyber fraud, defamation, hacking, bullying, phishing.
  • Domestic violence: gender, ways of detection and prevention, activism.
  • Domestic violence with disabilities .
  • Elder abuse: types, prevalence, risk groups, ways of detection and prevention.
  • Environmental crime. Natural resource theft: illegal trade in wildlife and timber, poaching, illegal fishing.
  • Environmental crime. Illegal trade in ozone-depleting substances, hazardous waste; pollution of air, water, and soil.
  • Environmental crime: local, regional, national, and transnational level.
  • Environmental crime: climate change crime and corruption.
  • Environmental crime: wildlife harming and exploitation.
  • Hate crime: how prejudice motivates violence.

Types of crime.

  • Homicide : what motivates one person to kill another.
  • Human trafficking : methods of deception, risk groups, ways of detection and prevention.
  • Identity theft : methods, risk groups, ways of detection and prevention.
  • Gambling in America .
  • Juvenile delinquency : risk groups, prevention policies, prosecution and punishment.
  • Juvenile Delinquency: Causes and Effects
  • Organizational crime: transnational, national, and local levels. Ways of disrupting the activity of a group.
  • Prostitution: risk groups, different takes on prevention policies, activism.
  • Robbery: risk groups, ways of prevention, prosecution and punishment.
  • Sex offenses: risk groups, types, prevalence, ways of detection and prevention.
  • Terrorism: definition, history, countermeasures.
  • Terrorism: individual and group activity, ways of detection and prevention.
  • Theft and shoplifting : risk groups, ways of detection, prevention policies, prosecution and punishment.
  • Counter-terrorism: constitutional and legislative issues.
  • White-collar crime: types, ways of detection, prevention policies, prosecution and punishment.

Criminology Topics on Racism and Discrimination

  • How systemic bias affects criminal justice?
  • How discriminatory portrayal of minority groups in the media affects criminal justice?
  • Racial profiling: targeting minority groups on the basis of race and ethnicity.
  • Racism and discrimination towards African-Americans .
  • Racial profiling : what are the cons? Are there any pros?
  • How discriminatory is the UK Court System?
  • How discriminatory is the US Court System?

Other Criminology Research Topics

  • Corporate crime : the ruling class criminals.
  • Genetics: illegal research and its dangers.
  • Hate crime : the implications in criminal justice.
  • Serial killers : risk groups, ways of detection and prevention.
  • Serial killers: portrayal in media.
  • Organized crime : how does it affect criminal justice?
  • Crime prevention programs.
  • Street lighting: does it reduce crime?
  • Terrorism prevention technology.
  • Identity theft: risk groups, ways of deception, prevention policies.
  • Due process model: procedural and substantive aspects.
  • Crime control in criminal justice administration.
  • Types of drugs: how do they affect the users?
  • Smart handheld devices: their function for security personnel.
  • Social media: its impact on crime rate.
  • Public health: how does criminal justice affect it?
  • Psychometric examinations: what is their role in criminal justice?
  • National defense in the US.
  • National defense in the UK.
  • Sexual harassment: the role of activism, ways of responding, prevention and prosecution.
  • Substance abuse: military.
  • Criminology and criminal justice jobs: a full list.

🌶️ Hot Criminal Justice Topics

  • The history of modern police.
  • Different types of prison systems.
  • Is situational crime prevention effective?
  • How to prevent wrongful convictions.
  • Challenges faced by crime victims.
  • The advantages of community corrections.
  • How do ethics influence criminal justice?
  • Disadvantages of felony disenfranchisement.
  • Does correctional system in the USA really work?
  • Possible problems of prisoner reentry process.

💂 116 Criminal Justice Research Topics & Questions

Here are some of the most typical and interesting criminal justice issues to dazzle your professor.

  • Prison system : the main problems and the hidden pitfalls.
  • The question of gender: why are there more men who receive capital punishment than women?
  • Kidnapping and ransom: common features, motifs, behavior patterns.
  • Crime prevention : key principles.
  • Firing a gun: what helps professionals understand whether it was deliberate or happened by accident?
  • Cybercrime : the legal perspective.
  • Internet vigilantism: revenge leaks.
  • Hate crime on the Internet: revenge leaks, trolling, defamation.
  • Crime and justice in mass media .
  • Parental abduction laws.
  • Sex offender registry: pros and cons.
  • The deterrence theory and the theory of rational choice : are they relevant in the modern world?
  • Sexual assault in schools and workplaces.
  • Jury selection: how is it performed?
  • Experimental criminology: the latest innovations.

Criminal justice system.

  • Wildlife crime: areas of prevalence, ways of prevention.
  • Felony disenfranchisement laws: when do they apply?
  • The relation between organized crime and corruption.
  • Victim services: what help can a victim of a crime get?
  • Prison rape and violence: the psychological aspect, ways of prevention.
  • Juvenile recidivism: what are the risk groups?
  • Forensic science: role and functions in modern criminal justice.
  • Shoplifting: how to prevent theft?
  • Witness Protection Program: who is eligible and how to protect them.
  • Date rape : what are the ways for the victims to seek legal assistance?
  • Substance abuse and crime: correlation or causation?
  • Identity theft: dangers and consequences in the modern world.
  • Online predators: what laws can be introduced to protect kids? Real-life examples.
  • Civil and criminal cases: how to differentiate?
  • Domestic abuse victims: what laws protect them?
  • Elder abuse: what can be done to prevent it?
  • The strain theory : the unachievable American dream.
  • Concepts of law enforcement: pursuing criminal justice .
  • Ethics and criminal justice: the unethical sides of law enforcement.
  • The top problems to be solved by law enforcement today.
  • Information sharing technology: how has it helped in the fight against terrorism?
  • Terrorism in perspective: characteristics, causes, control.
  • Serial killers : types.
  • Drug use and youth arrests.
  • Aggressive behavior: how does it correlate with criminal tendencies?
  • Community corrections : are they effective?
  • Sentencing: how does it take place?
  • Punishment types and the established terms.
  • Unwarranted arrest: when is it acceptable?
  • Human trafficking in the modern world.
  • Human trafficking: current state and counteracts .
  • The role of technology in modern forensics .
  • Similarities and differences between homicide , murder, and manslaughter.
  • Types of offenders: classification.
  • Effects of gun control measures in the United States .
  • The role of crime mapping in modern criminal justice.
  • Male crimes vs female crimes: are they different?
  • Prisons: the problems of bad living conditions.
  • Victimization : causes and ways of prevention.
  • Victimology and traditional justice system alternatives .
  • Rape victims: what are their rights?
  • Problem-solving courts: what underlying problems do they address?
  • Mandatory sentencing and the three-strike rule.
  • Have “three-strikes” laws been effective and should they be continued?
  • Criminal courts: what can be learned from their history?
  • Hate crimes: what motivates people to commit them?
  • Youth gangs: what is their danger?
  • Fieldwork: how is it done in criminology?
  • Distributive justice: its place in criminal justice.
  • Capital punishment : what can be learned from history?
  • Humanities and justice in Britain during 18th century.
  • Abolition of capital punishment .
  • Criminals and prisoners’ rights.
  • Crime prevention programs and criminal rehabilitation .
  • Campus crime: what laws and precautions are there against it?
  • Criminal trial process: how does it go?
  • Crimes committed on a religious basis: how are they punished?
  • The code of ethics in the Texas department of criminal justice .
  • Comparison between Florida and Maryland’s legislative frameworks .
  • Fraud in the scientific field: how can copyright protect the discoveries of researchers?
  • Prosecution laws: how are they applied in practice?
  • The classification of crime systems.
  • Cyberbullying and cyberstalking: what can parents do to protect their children?
  • Forgery cases in educational institutions, offices, and governmental organizations.
  • Drug courts : how do they work?

Controversial Topics in Criminal Justice

Want your work to be unconventional? Consider choosing one of the controversial topics. You will need to present a number of opposite points of view. Of course, it’s acceptable to choose and promote an opinion that you think stands the best. Just make sure to provide a thorough analysis of all of the viewpoints.

You can also stay impartial and let the reader make up their own mind on the subject. If you decide to support one of the viewpoints, your decision should be objective. Back it up with plenty of evidence, too. Here are some examples of controversial topics that you can explore.

  • Reform vs. punishment: which one offers more benefits?
  • Restorative justice model : is it the best criminal justice tool?
  • The war on drugs : does it really solve the drug problem?
  • Criminal insanity: is it a reason enough for exemption from liability?
  • Juvenile justice system: should it be eliminated?
  • Drug testing on the school ground.
  • Police brutality in the United States .
  • How to better gun control ?
  • Why Gun Control Laws Should be Scrapped.
  • Pornography: is it a type of sexual violence?
  • Whether death penalty can be applied fairly?
  • Jack the Ripper: who was he?
  • The modern justice system: is it racist?
  • A false accusation: how can one protect themselves from it?
  • Concealed weapons: what are the criminal codes of various states?
  • Race and crime: is there a correlation?
  • Registering sex offenders: should this information be in public records?
  • Juvenile delinquency and bad parenting: is there a relation?
  • Assessing juveniles for psychopathy or conduct disorder.
  • Should all new employees be checked for a criminal background ?
  • Are delinquency cases higher among immigrant children?
  • Restrictive housing: can it help decongest prisons?
  • Homegrown crimes: is there an effective program against them?
  • Prostitution: the controversy around legalization .
  • Eyewitness testimony: is it really helpful in an investigation?
  • Youthful offenders in boot camps: is this strategy effective?
  • Predictive policing : is it effective?
  • Selective incapacitation: is it an effective policy for reducing crime?
  • Social class and crime: is there a relation?
  • Death penalty: is it effective in crime deterrence?
  • Extradition law: is it fair?
  • Devious interrogations: is deceit acceptable during investigations?
  • Supermax prisons: are they effective or just cruel?
  • Zero tolerance: is it the best policy for crime reduction?
  • Marijuana decriminalization: pros and cons.
  • Marijuana legalization in the US .

Now that you have looked through the full list of topics, choose wisely. Remember that sometimes it’s best to avoid sensitive topics. Other times, a clever choice of a topic will win you extra points. It doesn’t depend on just the tastes of your professor, of course. You should also take into account how much relevant information there is on the subject. Anyway, the choice of the topic of your research is up to you. Try to find the latest materials and conduct an in-depth analysis of them. Don’t forget to draw a satisfactory conclusion. Writing may take a lot of your time and energy, so plan ahead. Remember to stay hydrated and good luck!

Now, after we looked through the topic collections on criminology and criminal justice, it is time to turn to the specifics in each of the fields. First, let’s talk more extensively about criminology. If you are training to be a criminologist, you will study some things more deeply. They include the behavior patterns of criminals, their backgrounds, and the latest sociological trends in crime.

In the field of criminology, the specialties are numerous. That’s why it’s difficult to pinpoint one career that represents a typical member of the profession. It all depends on the background of a criminologist, their education, and experience.

Careers possible with a criminology major.

A criminologist may have a number of responsibilities at their position. For example, they might be called forth to investigate a crime scene. Participation in autopsies is unpleasant yet necessary. Interrogation of suspects and subsequent criminal profiling is another essential duty.

Some professionals work solely in research. Others consult government agencies or private security companies. Courts and law firms also cooperate with criminologists. Their job is to provide expert opinion in criminal proceedings. Some of them work in the prison systems in order to oversee the rehabilitation of the convicted.

Regardless of the career specialty , most criminologists are working on profiling and data collection. A criminologist is another word for an analyst. They collect, study, and analyze data on crimes. After conducting the analysis, they provide recommendations and actionable information.

A criminologist seeks to find out the identity of the person who committed the crime. The time point of a crime is also important, as well as the reason for it. There are several areas covered by the analysis of a criminologist. The psychological behavior of the criminal or criminals is closely studied. The socio-economic indicators are taken into account. There are also, of course, the environmental factors that may have facilitated the crime.

Some high-profile cases require a criminologist to correspond with media and PR managers extensively. Sometimes criminologists write articles and even books about their findings. However, it should be noted that the daily routine of a professional in the field is not so glamorous. Most criminologists do their work alone, without the attention of the public.

The research a criminologist accumulates during their work is extensive. It doesn’t just sit there in a folder on their desk, of course. The collected statistics are used for developing active criminal profiles that are shared with law enforcement agencies. It helps to understand criminal behavior better and to predict it. That’s why a criminologist’s work must be precise and accurate for it to be practical and useful. Also, criminology professionals must have a good grasp of math and statistics.

Thinking of a career in criminology? You will need to, at the very least, graduate from college. There, you’ll master mathematics, statistics, and, of course, criminology. An associate’s degree may get you an entry-level position. But the minimum entry-level requirement is usually the bachelor’s degree. The best positions, though, are left for the professionals with a master’s degree or a PhD.

Just having a degree is not enough. To succeed as a criminologist, you will require all your intelligence, commitment, and the skill of analyzing intricate situations. An aspiration to better the society will go a long way. You will need to exercise your creative, written, and verbal communication skills, too. An analytical mind will land you at an advantage.

Criminology: Research Areas

Times change and the world of crime never ceases to adapt. The nature of criminal transgression is evolving, and so do the ways of prosecution. Criminal detection, investigation, and prevention are constantly advancing. Criminology studies aim to improve the practices implemented in the field.

There are six unified, coordinated, and interrelated areas of expertise. Within each, the professionals are busy turning their mastery into knowledge and action.

Criminology research areas.

The first research area is the newest worry of criminology – cybercrime. The impact of this type of crime is escalating with every passing day. That’s why it’s crucial for the law enforcement professionals to keep up to date with the evolving technology. Cybercrime research is exploring the growing threat of its subject at all levels of society. Cybercrime may impact people on both personal and governmental levels. Cybercrime research investigates the motivation and methodology behind the offenses and finds new ways to react.

The second research area is counter fraud. Crimes that fall under this category include fraud and corruption. The questions that counter fraud research deals with are many. How widely a crime is spread, what method is best to fight it, and the optimal courses of action to protect people and organizations.

The third research area is that of forensics. The contemporary face of justice has been changed by forensic science beyond recognition. Nowadays, it’s much harder for criminals to conceal their activity due to evolved technologies. The research in forensics is utilizing science in the identification of the crime and in its reconstruction. It employs such techniques as DNA recovery, fingerprinting, and forensic interviewing.

What is forensic interviewing? It helps find new ways to gather quality information from witnesses and crime scenes. It also works on developing protocols that ensure the protection of this human data and its correct interpretation by police.

The fourth research area is policing. Police service is facing a lot of pressing issues nowadays due to budget cuts. At the same time, police officers still need to learn, and there are also individual factors that may influence their work.

The fifth research area is penology. It’s tasked with exploring the role of punishment in the criminal justice system. Does punishment aid the rehabilitation of perpetrators, and to what extent? The answer will help link theory to practice and thus shape how criminal justice practitioners work.

The sixth research area is that of missing persons. Before a person goes missing, they may display a certain pattern of behavior. The study of missing persons helps to identify it. The results will determine the handling of such cases.

Now that we know what criminology is, it’s time to talk about criminal justice.

While criminology focuses on the analysis of crime, criminal justice concentrates on societal systems. Its primary concern is with the criminal behavior of the perpetrators. For example, in the USA, there are three branches of the criminal justice system. They are police (aka law enforcement), courts, and corrections. These branches all work together to punish and prevent unlawful behavior. If you take up a career in criminal justice, expect to work in one of these fields.

The most well-known branch of criminal justice is law enforcement. The police force is at the forefront of defense against crime and misdemeanor. They stand against the criminal element in many ways. For instance, they patrol the streets, investigate crimes, and detain suspects. It’s not just the police officers who take these responsibilities upon themselves. There are also US Marshals, ICE, FBI Agents, DEA, and border patrol. Only after the arrest has been made, the perpetrator enters the court system.

The court system is less visible to the public, but still crucial to the criminal justice system. Its main purpose is to determine the suspect’s innocence or guilt. You can work as an attorney, lawyer, bailiff, judge, or another professional of the field. In the court, if you are a suspect, you are innocent until proven guilty. You are also entitled to a fair trial. However, if they do find you guilty, you will receive a sentence. Your punishment will be the job of the corrections system.

The courts determine the nature of the punishment, and the corrections system enforces it. There are three elements of the corrections system: incarceration, probation, and parole. They either punish or rehabilitate the convicts. Want to uptake a career in corrections? You may work as, including, but not limited to: a parole officer, a prison warden, a probation officer, and a guard.

📈 Criminal Justice: Research Areas

The research areas in criminal justice are similar, if not identical, to those of criminology. After all, those are two very closely related fields. The one difference is that criminal justice research has more practical than theoretical applications. But it’s fair to say that theory is the building blocks that practice bases itself on. One is impossible without the other unless the result you want is complete chaos.

So, the question is – what topic to choose for the research paper? Remember that the world of criminal justice is constantly changing. Choosing a subject for research in criminal justice, consider a relevant topic. There are many pressing issues in the field. Exploring them will undoubtedly win you points from your professor. Just make sure to choose a direction that will give you the opportunity to show off both your knowledge and your analytical skills.

Not sure that your original research direction will be appreciated? Then choose one of the standard topics. Something that is widely discussed in the media. And, of course, make sure that you are truly interested in the subject. Otherwise, your disinterest will translate into your writing, which may negatively affect the overall impression. Also, it’s just more enjoyable to work on something that resonates with you.

What can you do with your research paper? Literally anything. Explore the background of the issue. Make predictions. Compare the different takes on the matter. Maybe there are some fresh new discoveries that have been made recently. What does science say about that?

Also, remember to backup all your arguments with quotes and examples from real life. The Internet is the best library and research ground a student could hope for. The main idea of the paper, aka the thesis, must be proven by enough factual material. Otherwise, it’s best to change your research direction.

And, of course, don’t put it all off till the last minute. Make a plan and stick to it. Consistency and clever distribution of effort will take you a long way. Good luck!

🤔 Criminal Justice Research FAQs

Criminological and criminal justice research are the scientific studies of the causes and consequences, extent and control, nature, management, and prevention of criminal behavior, both on the social and individual levels.

Criminal justice and criminology are sciences that analyze the occurrence and explore the ways of prevention of illegal acts. Any conducted personal research and investigation should be supported by the implemented analytical methods from academic works that describe the given subject.

There are six interrelated areas of criminology research:

  • Cybercrime research makes law enforcement professionals keep up to date with the evolving technology.
  • Counter fraud research investigates cases of fraud and corruption.
  • Forensics research utilizes science: DNA recovery, fingerprinting, and forensic interviewing.
  • Research in policing investigates individual factors that may influence the work of police officers.
  • Penology explores the role of punishment in the criminal justice system.
  • The study of missing persons helps to identify patterns of victims’ behavior.

There are seven research methods in criminology:

  • Quantitative research methods measure criminological and criminal justice reality by assigning numerical values to concepts to find patterns of correlation, cause and effect.
  • Survey research collects information from a number of persons via their responses to questions.
  • Experimental research assesses cause and effect in two comparison groups.
  • Cross-sectional research studies one group at one point in time.
  • Longitudinal research studies the same group over a period of time.
  • Time-series designs study the same group at successive points in time.
  • Meta-analysis employs quantitative analysis of findings from multiple studies.

The basis of criminological theory is criminological research. It influences the development of social policies and defines criminal justice practice.

Criminological research doesn’t just enable law students to develop analytical and presentational skills. The works of criminal justice professionals, scholars, and government policymakers dictate the way law enforcement operates. The newest ideas born out of research identify corrections and crime prevention, too.

Here is a step-by-step instruction on how to write a criminal justice research paper:

  • Choose a topic
  • Read the materials and take notes
  • Come up with a thesis
  • Create an outline for your work
  • Draft the body
  • Start with a cover page, an abstract, and an intro
  • List the methods you used, and the results you got
  • Include a discussion
  • Sum it up with a conclusion
  • Don’t forget a literature review and appendices
  • Revise, proofread, and edit

The most common types of methodologies in criminal justice research include:

  • Observation of participants.
  • Surveys and interviews.
  • Observation of focus groups.
  • Conducting experiments.
  • Analysis of secondary data and archival study.
  • Mixed (a combination of the above methods).

Learn more on this topic:

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  • The Differences Between Criminal Justice and Criminology: Which Degree Is Right for You? (Concordia St. Paul)
  • Corporate Crime: Britannica
  • The Development of Delinquency: NAP
  • Databases for Research & Education: Gale
  • A CS Research Topic Generator: Purdue University
  • A Introduction To The Federal Court System: US Department of Justice
  • Criminal Justice Research Topics: Broward College
  • Research Topics in Criminology: Cambridge Institute of Criminology
  • CRIMINOLOGY: University of Portsmouth
  • Research: Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice, University of Maryland
  • Criminal Justice: RAND
  • Research Methods in Criminal Justice: Penn State University Libraries
  • Research: School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Arizona State University
  • Criminology – Research Guide: Getting started (Penn Libraries)
  • Criminology Research Papers: Academia
  • The History & Development of the U.S. Criminal Justice System: Study.com
  • CRIMINAL JUSTICE & CRIMINOLOGY: Marshall University
  • Criminal Justice: Temple University
  • Criminal Justice: University of North Georgia
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The schools of criminology seems like such a fascinating field — it’s definitely not for the lighthearted though! Here in the Philippines, criminology as a course is highly underrated; hopefully that’ll change!

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The SAGE Handbook of Criminological Research Methods

The SAGE Handbook of Criminological Research Methods

  • David Gadd - Manchester University, UK, University of Manchester, UK
  • Susanne Karstedt - Griffith University, Australia
  • Steven F Messner - University at Albany, State University of New York, USA
  • Description

Drawing on exemplary studies, chapters in each section illustrate the techniques (qualitative and quantitative) that are commonly applied in empirical studies, as well as the logic of criminological enquiry. Organized into five sections, each prefaced by an editorial introduction, the Handbook covers:

• Crime and Criminals

• Contextualizing Crimes in Space and Time: Networks, Communities and Culture

• Perceptual Dimensions of Crime

• Criminal Justice Systems: Organizations and Institutions

• Preventing Crime and Improving Justice

Edited by leaders in the field of criminological research, and with contributions from internationally renowned experts, The SAGE Handbook of Criminological Research Methods is set to become the definitive resource for postgraduates, researchers and academics in criminology, criminal justice, policing, law, and sociology.

David Gadd is Professor of Criminology at Manchester University School of Law where he is also Director of the Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Susanne Karstedt has a Chair in Criminology and Criminological Justice at the University of Leeds.

This remarkable collection of essays is criminological methodology like it ought to be. Reflecting the rich, methodological and substantive diversity of the field and the complexity of the criminological subject matter, these essays reveal the stories behind the stories criminologists tell. Essential reading for students and researchers alike Professor Shadd Maruna Queens University, Belfast

The Sage Handbook of Criminological Research Methods by David Gadd, Susanne Karstedt and Steven Messner brings together a large group of experienced researchers from across the world to write about a wide range of innovative and important approaches to criminological enquiry. But the handbook is much more than a standard "research methods" book in two significant ways: first, it situates each research methods within its theoretical home. Second, the authors have succeeded in striking the right balance between presenting a necessary textbook approach to using a research method and providing an experienced researcher's perspective on the ins and outs of actually conducting research. The practical insights provided throughout the book, across a very broad range of criminological inquiry, make for an engaging read Professor Lorraine Mazerolle University of Queensland, Australia

Criminology is characterized by a bewildering array of research methods ranging from randomized control experiments to ethnographies. The editors boldly charge into this intellectual thicket and provide some much needed organization and clarity. The 33 substantive chapters, written by some of the most respected criminologists in the field, provide an excellent resource for researchers and will make a welcome addition for both undergraduate and graduate research methods courses Gary LaFree Director, START Center and Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Maryland

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SAGE Research Methods is a research methods tool created to help researchers, faculty and students with their research projects. SAGE Research Methods links over 175,000 pages of SAGE’s renowned book, journal and reference content with truly advanced search and discovery tools. Researchers can explore methods concepts to help them design research projects, understand particular methods or identify a new method, conduct their research, and write up their findings. Since SAGE Research Methods focuses on methodology rather than disciplines, it can be used across the social sciences, health sciences, and more.

With SAGE Research Methods, researchers can explore their chosen method across the depth and breadth of content, expanding or refining their search as needed; read online, print, or email full-text content; utilize suggested related methods and links to related authors from SAGE Research Methods' robust library and unique features; and even share their own collections of content through Methods Lists. SAGE Research Methods contains content from over 720 books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks, the entire “Little Green Book,” and "Little Blue Book” series, two Major Works collating a selection of journal articles, and specially commissioned videos.

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IMAGES

  1. Criminology Project

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  2. 256 Criminology Research Topics & Criminal Justice Topics for Papers

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  3. 37+ Criminology Research Topics For Law Students [ Updated 2019 ]

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  4. Top 186 Criminal Justice Research Topics Idea for students

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  5. 256 Criminology Research Topics & Criminal Justice Topics for Papers

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  6. Advances in Criminology Research

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VIDEO

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  5. #truecrime #study #collectivestudy #serial #forensicpsychology #criminology #psychology #research

  6. Research Methods In Criminology (CSS753_241) TMA 2

COMMENTS

  1. Criminology

    Predictive crime modelling can produce powerful statistical tools, but there are important considerations for researchers to take into account to avoid their findings being misused and doing more ...

  2. Research

    CCJS faculty have been among the leaders in the discipline when it comes to utilizing cutting edge research designs, statistical methods and data analysis to investigate key issues in criminology and criminal justice. Experimental methods, causal models, program evaluation, hierarchical and longitudinal models, network analysis and mixed ...

  3. Crime and justice research: The current landscape and future

    The contributions in this themed section developed from conversations that took place at an event hosted by the British Society of Criminology and Criminology & Criminal Justice in April 2019. The papers that follow respond to a 'think-piece' presented by Richard Sparks at that event, and engage with the subsequent debate about the future of funding for crime and justice research.

  4. Drugs and Crime Research Projects

    Tarleton State University. 2018-75-CX-0005. $341,883. Delaware Opiate Metric Intelligence Project. University of Delaware. 2017-IJ-CX-0016. $588,717. NIJ Research and Data Analysis on MJ and Other Drug Markets. Measuring the Criminal Justice System Impacts of Marijuana Legalization and Decriminalization Using State Dat.

  5. Research Projects

    Dr Caroline Lanskey. Professor Friedrich L ö sel. Current Research Projects Civic Dignity (A public dialogue about prisoner voting rights) Dr Bethany Schmidt Covid-19 and the Psychological Wellbeing of Police Officers and Health Workers in Ghana Dr Justice Tankebe Crime & Networks Group Dr Paolo Campana Crime During the Covi.

  6. Research projects

    Youth Peer Mentorship "Upfull Hustlers" Project to Reduce Gang Violence: A Pilot Study in Mon Repos, Morvant, Trinidad. If you have a research opportunity that you would like to discuss with us then please get in touch. Research excellence, innovation and impact is at the heart of what we do at the University of Leicester.

  7. Criminal Justice Research Topics

    This collection provides overviews of nearly 100 key criminal justice research topics comprising traditional criminology and its more modern interdisciplinary outgrowths. These topics are divided into six thematic parts: Criminology. Correlates of Crime. Criminology Theories.

  8. 35 Criminal Justice Topics for Students

    A PhD in Criminal Justice can prepare graduates for a number of positions, including police chief, corrections facility director, professor, and research consultant. 1. At Walden University, students pursuing a PhD in Criminal Justice can choose the General Program or one of several specializations: The courses you take and the area you ...

  9. Student Research

    Students in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice conduct cutting-edge research alongside our faculty experts in topics including bias victimization, urban violence, homicide and suicide, human trafficking, juvenile justice, mass incarceration, and racial equity. The School houses several centers and labs that align closely with topics ...

  10. COVID-19 Criminology Research Projects

    Policing during COVID-19: A Worldwide Study of Changes in Police Organizations and Practices. The Violence Research Centre. Global Crime during COVID-19. Dr Peter Neyroud , Professor Manuel Eisner (Institute of Criminology) and Professor Amy Nivette (University of Utrecht) Webinar: Social Distancing in the Pandemic: Policing & Compliance.

  11. Research

    Journal of Research on Adolescence, 30 (S1), 255-269. FSU's College of Criminology and Criminal Justice is home to the nation's number one criminology faculty in the world. Our team of experts is ranked number one in the nation for research productivity and are among the top 10 for grant acquisition, as demonstrated below.

  12. Criminology Faculty Research

    I have ongoing projects in two principal research areas. First, I have several projects focused on the experiences of incarceration and community re-entry. Funded by the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health, these studies examine topics such as. inmate social networks; family visitation; community social integration

  13. Criminological Research

    Many of our undergraduate students can attest to the importance of research in criminal justice as part of their degree program. Students interested in conducting criminal justice undergraduate research with our faculty members should contact either the Criminology and Justice Studies Academic Advisor, Mica Storer, at [email protected] , or ...

  14. Research projects

    We currently have 5 projects in the active process of methodology construction, data analysis, or preparation for publication:Violence Risk study (Optimizing Screening for Youth Violence Prevention Programs)Marijuana study (Etiology and Consequences of Regular Marijuana Use)

  15. Guides: Criminology

    The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (6th ed.) by Alison Liebling (Editor); Shadd Maruna (Editor); Lesley McAra (Editor) Call Number: HV6025 .O87 2017. ISBN: 9780198719441. Publication Date: 2017. Chapters detail relevant theory, recent research, policy developments, and current debates. Extensive references aid further research.

  16. Research Projects

    Research Projects. The PSI Lab is testing the effectiveness of an intervention intended to reduce the effects of PTSD on police officers. The PSI Lab is conducting a study of how Covid-19 has influenced policing and public safety in the Navajo Nation. The PSI Lab is carrying out a study of protest-related deaths in the United States.

  17. 428 Criminology Research Topics & Questions for Students

    Criminology is the study of crime and criminal behavior, supported by the principles of sociology and other sciences, including economics, statistics, and psychology. Criminologists study a variety of related areas, including: Characteristics of people who commit crimes. Reasons behind committing different crimes.

  18. Research Projects

    The following research projects are currently being undertaken by CrimSL faculty and doctoral students. Follow the links to learn more. The Ukraine Public Security in Transition Project ( Matthew Light) Discovering University Worlds ( Mariana Valverde) To add your project to the list, send an email to [email protected] with details.

  19. Research

    The AIC conducts research on a range of crime and justice issues to provide timely, policy-relevant research to the Australian Government and other key stakeholders. The research priorities for the AIC are set annually by the Director, in consultation with the Criminology Research Advisory Council. In 2023-24 the research priorities are:

  20. Projects

    This project is a methodological critique of dominant criminological and "countering-violent extremism" (CVE) research on the Canadian far-right. Contrasting these approaches, the project develops a critical social movement studies framework for studying this topic, examining Canada's right-wing nationalist movement through participant ...

  21. Featured Research

    The journalists included Lee Van Der Voo, Nick Budnick, and Kate Wilson. Professor Mark Leymon (Harmon) from the Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice at Portland State University provided statistical review and analysis. The series produced over 30 separate news articles investigating multiple areas of the justice system.

  22. Completed CJRC Projects

    This project in development extends the current PINS study (see summary of this under Active Funded Research Projects) with intensive interviews of parole-eligible inmates prior to and after prison release. ... Department of Sociology & Criminology- Emeritus; Project Consultant: Derek Kreager, Ph.D., Department of Sociology & Criminology; About ...

  23. 256 Research Topics on Criminal Justice & Criminology

    Criminology Topics on Types of Crime. Campus crime: the most common crimes on college campuses and ways of preventing them. Child abuse: types, prevalence, risk groups, ways of detection and prevention. Cybercrime: cyber fraud, defamation, hacking, bullying, phishing. Domestic violence: gender, ways of detection and prevention, activism.

  24. The SAGE Handbook of Criminological Research Methods

    Conducting research into crime and criminal justice carries unique challenges. This Handbook. focuses on the application of 'methods' to address the core substantive questions that currently motivate contemporary criminological research.. It maps a canon of methods that are more elaborated than in most other fields of social science, and the intellectual terrain of research problems with which ...

  25. Research

    British Society of Criminology joint crime impact booklet with Academy of Social Sciences. Making the Case - Crime. The fourth in a succesful series published by the AcSS to demonstrate the impact of the social sciences, was launched on June 29 2011 to a packed audience of politicians, policy officials and academics at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills conference centre at ...

  26. Understanding Criminology: The Study of Crime and Society

    Criminology is the scientific study of crime, its causes, consequences, and methods of prevention. It is a multidisciplinary field that draws on sociology, psychology, law, anthropology, and other disciplines to understand criminal behavior and the functioning of criminal justice systems. This article explores the key concepts, theories, and ...

  27. 9 Undergraduate Research Projects That Wowed Us This Year

    Many present their work at research conferences, and some even co-author work with faculty and graduate students that leads to publication. As 2023-2024 drew to a close, the NYU News team coordinated with the Office of the Provost to pull together a snapshot of the research efforts that students undertook during this school year.

  28. Criminology and Criminal Justice Senior Capstone Project

    Criminology and Criminal Justice Senior Capstone. PDF. Implementing Hotspot Policing: A Review of the Literature, Portland State University. Criminology and Criminal Justice Senior Capstone. Submissions from 2012 PDF. Police Use of Force: A Review of the Literature, Portland State University. Criminology and Criminal Justice Senior Capstone. PDF

  29. ATRI Announces Research Projects for 2024

    The 2024 research priorities include: • Update: Impact of Nuclear Verdicts. In 2020, ATRI released a landmark study examining the frequency and impact of nuclear verdicts on the trucking ...

  30. CWRU Research Security Programs

    In 2021, the federal government released a memorandum requiring that all federal agencies create policies to mandate research institutions receiving federal funding in excess of $50 million annually to implement training programs for researchers involved in federally-funded research.Research Security Training. Beginning in 2024, Case Western Reserve University will require research security ...