Skip to Main Content

Criminal Justice

Good research starts with a question...

Research begins with a good question or idea that gets refined as you learn more.  

You might want to start with a big topic and as you learn more, you'll begin to narrow down your question into something you can address.  This isn't always easy to do and takes practice! 
Talk with your instructor or meet one of the librarians.  Helping you ask questions and look for answers is what we do!  

Some sample topics and questions (cited from WaldenU)


  1. The relationship between police and people of different backgrounds. Do body cameras reduce police violence? Is police violence against people of color accurately represented in media coverage? How do perceptions of police impact public safety?
  2. The reliability of eyewitness testimony. Do eyewitnesses provide accurate testimony? Should their statements be allowed in court?
  3. Methods for preventing international drug trafficking. What methods do drug traffickers use to smuggle illegal substances into a country? How do law enforcement officials react and what should they do differently?
  4. Crime during emergencies. Does crime spike during certain types of public emergencies, such as weather events? If so, how can emergency management professionals prevent it?
  5. Gender disparity in the criminal justice system. Why are men more likely to get the death penalty? In what ways are women treated unfairly?
  6. The impact of solitary confinement. How does solitary confinement impact people in prisons? Are they more likely to reoffend? Does the threat of solitary confinement work as a deterrent?
  7. The efficacy of drug courts. In what ways do drug courts help or hurt people with addictions? How should drug courts change during the opioid crisis?
  8. Ethical and legal issues in international intervention. When should the United States intervene in crises in other countries?
  9. How mandatory minimum sentences hurt or help. Do mandatory minimum sentences deter crime or encourage recidivism? What kinds of biases exist in these laws? What could be done differently?
  10. The impact of prison on children of incarcerated individuals. Who cares for children of incarcerated people? How does foster and kinship care affect these children?