Criminal justice is concerned with the maintenance of social order in societies, with a particular focus on preventing crime, penalising those who transgress laws, and ideally rehabilitating convicts and reintegrating them successfully into society. Though communities have had to deal with “crime” since the dawn of time, the study of criminal justice is ever evolving, as it must keep pace with changing social contracts, new philosophies, changing technologies, and inputs from disciplines such as psychology. To present a successful dissertation on criminal justice, we recommend that you look for topics that smartly bridge the long, storied history of the field demonstrating a thorough understanding of its roots, with insights into modern developments and influences. To get you started, here is our list of seven successful topics.
Law enforcement is not a component of criminal justice, but is one of the most frequent entry points for victims and perpetrators alike into the system. How does the militarisation of the police in modern societies impact courts’ ability to adjudicate, and corrections ability to rehabilitate criminals?
Conservatism is valued in the adjudication of criminal cases, where the presumption in modern, liberal democracies is of innocence of guilt. But as technologies and societies evolve ever-more rapidly, how can judges move faster where they need to?
Modern media have lifted the veil on many court proceedings, but potentially to the detriment of the process before it can conclude without outside interference. How should modern courts think about balancing the right of the public to know, versus the need of the court to disbar negative outside influences?
Underpinning the criminal justice system are beliefs, values, and philosophies, many of which are taken for granted, such as the right to a fair trial. Trace these, and consider how the system would evolve differently if they were changed.
Much of the modern system of criminal justice is based on centralised, authoritative legislation, adjudication, and corrections. Taking lessons from successful modern social networks and peer-to-peer services, could elements of the system be successfully decentralised in a way that is more effective, more efficient, more robust, and more adaptive?
Popular perceptions are that criminality among youth is increasing. Is this true? Would it indicate that the age of majority should be lowered in the case of criminal trials?
As developments in machine intelligence accelerate exponentially, it is becoming possible that judges may be automated. On the face of it, this would make them more objective; but they ultimately must be programmed by subjective humans. Is the platonic ideal of perfectly objective judgement ever possible? Should we strive for it at all?