1st Edition

Social Media and Criminal Justice

By Xiaochen Hu, Nicholas P. Lovrich Copyright 2025
    312 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    312 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Discussing social media-related scholarship found in criminology, legal studies, policing, courts, corrections, victimization, and crime prevention, this book presents the current state of our knowledge on the impact of social media and the major sociological frameworks employed to study the U.S. justice system.

    Building a theoretical framework for the study of social media and criminal justice in each chapter, the chapters provide a systematic reflection of extant research on social media in cybercrime, operations of courts, administration of institutional and community corrections, law enforcement, and crime prevention. The book fills the gap between the contemporary state of knowledge regarding social media and criminal justice with respect to both empirical evidence and types of sociological frameworks being employed to explore and identify the societal costs and benefits of our growing dependence upon social media. In addition to providing an up-to-date overview of our current state of knowledge, this book highlights important areas of future research wherein the benefits of social media can be expanded, and the negative aspects of its broadening use be minimized.

    Social Media and Criminal Justice will be of interest to students, scholars and practitioners in the areas of judicial administration, corrections management, law enforcement, and criminal justice-engaged community-based non-profit organizations involved in court-referred treatment and/or active collaboration with local law enforcement agencies.   


    Chapter 1: Social Media, Criminology, the Criminal Justice System, and Human Behaviour

    Chapter 2: Social Media and Contemporary Mainstream Social Media Platforms

    Chapter 3: Social Media and Criminology

    Chapter 4: Social Media and the Police

    Chapter 5: Social Media and the Courts

    Chapter 6: Social Media and Corrections

    Chapter 7: Social Media and Crime Prevention

    Chapter 8: The Future of Social Media, Criminology, and the Criminal Justice System



    Xiaochen Hu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Fayetteville State University (FSU) in Fayetteville, NC, U.S. He conducts both quantitative and qualitative studies related to police decision-making, police culture, police and the law, community-oriented policing, gangs, victimology, and criminal justice and mass media. He has co-authored Electronic Community-Oriented Policing: Theories, Contemporary Efforts, and Future Directions (2020). His scholarship has been published in multiple refereed journals.


    Nicholas P. Lovrich is Regents Professor Emeritus and a Claudius O. and Mary W. Johnson Distinguished Professor of Political Science in the School of Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs at Washington State University. He is also an Affiliate Researcher in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at WSU. He remains highly active in scholarship. In 2023 he was the recipient of the Legacy of Excellence Award at WSU in recognition of “a professor emeritus who, in retirement, continues to make outstanding contributions to academia, the University, and the community.”

    “Wide-ranging in scope, rigorous in analysis, and exceptionally up to date with developments in social media and societal responses to it. This book offers us not only a systematic synthesis of research on criminal justice and social media, but also helps to develop a conceptual vocabulary and theoretical framework with which trends can be better grasped and explained. A book that will be of genuine value to students, scholars, criminal justice practitioners and policy makers alike.”

     Majid Yar, Professor Emeritus of Criminology, Lancaster University, UK


    “Reflecting controversies regarding Google, Facebook, X (aka Twitter), and TikTok, Xiaochen Hu and Nicholas Lovrich have written Social Media and Criminal Justice; a work that delivers the disciplines of criminology and criminal justice a much needed service. As social media devices have become smaller and keyboardless, crime and justice have haphazardly evolved alongside the technology and communication capabilities. Contemporary society and the justice system today must deal with social media driven cyber, copycat, and performance crime while simultaneously incorporating social media’s positive potentials into their operations. In practice, however, the fields of criminology and criminal justice has been slow catching and keeping up with changes induced by social media. Hu and Lovrich address this gap. Their book answers the questions of how social media has evolved, what it means for crime and justice, and where it is likely going. In doing so, Social Media and Criminal Justice, provides a well-grounded overview of the history, current state, and likely future of the intersection of social media, criminality, and criminal justice. This book is strongly recommended for readers wishing to gain a sense of the past, present, and future of the powerful shift in communication and society occurring from the rise of social media.”

     Ray Surette, University of Central Florida, US


    “Social media and the criminal justice system are two major pillars of social life. Comprehensive scholarship addressing the extensive interplay between these two pillars is rather limited. Filling a void in the research, this important, ambitious, and necessary book offers a thorough understanding of the scope and impact of social media on multiple facets of the criminal justice system including police, courts, and corrections. Not only do Hu and Lovrich provide valuable insights, but they also offer some justice related matters to consider as social media evolves. This timely book will be of interest to criminal justice practitioners, scholars, students, and anyone with a general curiosity in contemporary issues in criminal justice.”

    Christopher J. Schneider, Brandon University, Canada


    “Hu and Lovrich's Social Media and Criminal Justice is an especially timely book as the world navigates issues and problems posed by social media and the acceptance of "alternative facts." This book will find an audience from criminal justice researchers, students and practitioners, and anyone seeking more insight into the intersection of social media and criminal justice.”

    Mitchel Roth, Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Sam Houston State University, US


    “Xiaochen Hu and Nicholas Lovrich’s book Social Media and Criminal Justice provides a cogent and timely overview of the multiple intersections between criminal justice and social media. While written from a largely policy and practically based perspective, the book also offers multiple theoretical insights, and is backed up by original research. As either an introduction to this field, a broad overview, or to engage more specific research questions, this book will provide a well organised and valuable addition to the quickly evolving and changing relationship between social media and criminal justice practice. Criminal justice is now enmeshed in social media — for better and worse. Social Media and Criminal Justice helps us make sense of it.”

     Murray Lee, Professor in Criminology, University of Sydney Law School, Australia