Creative Essay Tips

30 Interesting Criminal Justice Essay Topics to Write About

4 min read

The criminal justice field has been growing rapidly in recent years. Criminal justice majors and minors are finding themselves with a lot of crime essay topics, and a lot of options for choosing their path, from being a police officer to working at a local jailhouse or prison.

This article will highlight some of the many criminal justice topics to write about while majoring in this field.

What are some topics in criminal justice

An essay on criminal justice can range from argumentative to reformative depending on your interest as a student. 

The following list includes 30 outstanding topics for your next paper

Basic criminal justice essay topics

  1. Are capital punishments effective in the correctional system? 
    Top on the list of basic criminal justice topics is capital punishment. This is a form of punishment that involves the death penalty. It is used in many countries and states. Although capital punishment is an effective way to deter crime because it causes people to think twice before committing an offense, there are many drawbacks associated with capital punishment, which are worth discussing.
  2. Should juvenile offenders be tried as adults?
    The United States Supreme Court has ruled that juveniles cannot be tried as adults. However, many states have laws regarding this issue and may allow it to happen in certain circumstances.
  3. Does booker-based sentencing work effectively for all crimes?
    Booker-based sentencing is a federal law that allows judges to determine the severity of a crime by considering the facts of the case and the criminal history of the offender. 
  4. Should criminal justice students be allowed to serve warrants alongside police officers?
    It is a fact that most police officers have received some form of training on how to serve warrants and the legal consequences associated with them. However, should students be allowed to do so as a form of practice?
  5. Is it fair to allow police officers to use social media while they are on duty?
    Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives; therefore, it is important to understand how law enforcement agencies use this technology for their benefit as well.
  6. How can racial biases be eliminated in the criminal justice system?
    A great criminal justice college essay discusses racial bias as a major problem in the criminal justice system. It can be found at all levels of the criminal justice system, but it is especially prevalent at police stations and jails. Police officers are often unaware of their own biases and may not even realize how much they hold them back from making fair judgments about people based on race or ethnicity.

Criminal justice argumentative essay topics

  1. Has technology positively contributed to criminal justice investigations?
  2. Should drug users, who are not charged with a crime, be detained and booked into jail?
  3. Should people have a right to carry guns despite mandatory gun laws?
  4. Is it ethical to conduct psychological experiments on prisoners? 
  5. Should inmates have control over their lives while incarcerated?
  6. Is incarceration an effective means of reducing crime?
  7. Do racial disparities in sentencing affect society?

Criminal justice reform essay topics

  1. What are the three main purposes of a criminal justice system?
  2. Are prisoners treated humanely?
  3. What are some alternatives to incarceration?
  4. Does the death penalty deter crime or contribute to it?
  5. Which method of execution is the best option for the criminal justice system, and why?
  6. Should marijuana be legal for recreational use only or medical use only?
  7. Should there be limits on how many people can join a protest? In what circumstances should there be limits on how many people can join a protest? In what circumstances should there be no limits on how many people can join a protest?
  8. Is police profiling ethical or practical? Why or why not?
  9. Should the U.S. Constitution be amended to allow for greater accountability in criminal justice?
  10. How should the punishment be meted out: retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation, or incapacitation?
  11. Is the system of plea bargaining corrupt? Do prosecutors have too much discretion under the current system?
  12. How can we ensure that those who commit crimes against children receive adequate punishment?

Interesting criminal justice essay ideas

  1. Can we effectively reduce crime by reforming the education system in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color? (In a way other than providing more funding for prisons)
  2. What is restorative justice, and how does it work?
  3. How can we make our communities safer without increasing the number of people in federal prisons?
  4. What are some of the best ways of reducing recidivism in the correctional system?
  5. What are community-based corrections and how effective is it in reducing recidivism?


The topics above are all suitable for you to choose from. It is important to note that one of the most interesting criminal justice essay papers you will come across when researching is how technology can positively contribute to criminal justice investigations.

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