Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice Themes

The Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice is a theme-based journal.  Authors are asked to review the upcoming themes and submit relevant manuscripts directly to the respective Guest Editors, noted below.  Do not submit manuscripts to either Sage Publications or the General Editor.

Upcoming Themes and Guest Editors:

Examining the Dark Web: Innovations in Research Design and Methods to Advance the Study of Crime and Victimization (May 2023 issue)
Manuscripts due May 1, 2022
Co-Editors: Fawn T. Ngo (, Catherine D. Marcum (, and Scott Belshaw (

The Dark Web, also known as Darknet and Onionland, is a subsection of the Deep Web that consists of large networks run by corporations and small peer-to-peer networks run by individuals. The Deep Web is part of the Internet that search engines do not index. As an encrypted network of websites, the Dark Web can only be accessed using a special secure browser such as Tor. Tor, formerly an acronym for the “Onion Router,” is a free and open-source software intended to protect the personal privacy of its users and keep their Internet activities unmonitored.

The Dark Web encompasses a variety of content ranging from progressive and benevolent to violence and disruption. In recent years, interests in the Dark Web as a platform for criminal and illegal activities have emerged. Studying the Dark Web poses unique challenges as well as opportunities. The goal of this special issue is to provide a platform for researchers and criminologists to share and discuss innovative research design and methods to shed light on the actual activity going on in the Dark web’s shadowy realms. Only articles describing previously unpublished, original, state-of-the-art research, and not currently under review by a conference or journal will be considered.

A one-page abstract should be submitted electronically to by November 1, 2021. The abstract should contain details of the design and methodological framework adopted for the study. Authors of selected abstracts will be notified by January 1, 2022. Final manuscripts are due by May 1, 2022. Manuscripts should not exceed 25 pages of double-spaced text (including tables, figures, and references). Send two electronic copies of the manuscript, one full version (with a cover page containing the author’s name, title, institutional contact information; acknowledgments), and one blind copy (without any identifying information) to Fawn Ngo at All manuscripts should be in MS Word format and conform to the formatting style of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed).

Measuring scholarly impact in criminology and criminal justice: Critiques and new directions (August 2023)
By Invitation
Co-Editors: John Worrall ( and Ellen Cohn (

Perspectives on Diversion in the Criminal Justice and Healthcare Systems (November 2023 issue)
Proposals due June 1, 2022
Co-Editors: Lisaann Gittner (, Robert Forbis (, Jeff Dennis (

Diversion of justice involved individuals with mental health issues frequently forces a juxtaposition of the criminal justice and healthcare systems, yet most approaches lack a system-spanning normative theory of diversion.  A disconnect between the process of diversion and the outcome of diversion occurs as defined by the systems. While the systems share the objectives of (1) rehabilitation, (2) efficient case processing, and (3) reducing system resources; defining and detecting individual successful re-entry into civil society, however, becomes convoluted. Subsequently, there is no incentive for diversion to succeed in achieving the objective of individual stability as a fully functioning, free and healthy member of civil society.

We encourage papers from an interdisciplinary perspective that address the topic using theoretical, empirical, and practitioner perspectives. The goal of this special issue is to provide an interdisciplinary platform for scholars and practitioners in criminal justice, mental and behavioral health, public policy and administration, public health, sociology, criminology, law, economics, health sciences, and psychology. Only papers describing original research or perspectives and not currently under review at another journal will be considered.

A 1-2 page double spaced proposal should be submitted electronically to by June 1, 2022. The proposal should contain a clear premise describing the intended approach and perspective of the paper. Empirical paper proposals should outline data source and methods. Practitioner paper proposals should indicate how the application will be grounded in current literature and best practices. Theoretical paper proposals should indicate the contribution to the system being addressed. We are not interested in systematic reviews or meta-analysis for this special issue. Authors of selected abstracts will be notified by July 1, 2022. Final manuscripts are due by November 1, 2022. Final manuscripts should not exceed 25 pages of double-spaced text (including tables, figures, and references).

Crime Trends (February 2024)
By Invitation
Co-Editors:  Rick Rosenfeld ( and Mark Berg (

This special issue will address long and short run trends in crime rates in the Unites States and other nations.  Papers on the short run trends will encompass the two recent homicide spikes in the United States in 2014-2016 and 2019-2020.  Trends in both violent crime and property crime will be covered at multiple levels of analysis (e.g., national, city, neighborhood).  Authors will be asked to identify key soures of change in the crime trends.

Trends in Intimate Partner Homicide during the COVID-19 pandemic: Theoretical explanations and criminal policy implications (May 2024)
By Invitation
Co-Editors: Marcelo Aebi ( and Lorena Molnar (

Patterns and Trends of Homicide in Europe and Beyond (August 2024)
By Invitation
Co-Editors: Nora Markwalder (, Marieke Liem, and Janne Kivivuori

This special issue will address patterns and trends of homicide in different European countries as well as in a number of non-European nations.  The contributions are based on individual level data sources and allow disaggregated homicide analysis. Authors will present different subtypes of homicide as well as the challenges homicide researchers face in Europe and beyond.

Many Paths Through the Forest: The Complex Realities
of Prison Research and Innovation in the Modern Era (November 2024)
By Invitation
Co-Editors: Beth Huebner ( and Kathy Fox (

The National Crime Victimization Survey at Fifty (February 2024)
By Invitation
Co-Editors:  Min Xie (  Jim Lynch (

This special issue has three main objectives. First, it will enhance the learning of the NCVS’s origins, design, and development. Second, it will demonstrate contributions based on NCVS data to theory, practice, and methodology.  Third, it will contribute toward comparative survey research and place the United States in the context of other societies through crossnational comparisons.



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