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Johnson And Wales University Unveils $650K Crime Lab

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Starting this month, Johnson & Wales students will have access to a full crime lab at the university’s criminal justice department. Work in the lab...

Starting this month, Johnson & Wales students will have access to a full crime lab at the university’s criminal justice department. Work in the lab will be required for all students who major in criminal justice.

JWU spent some $650,000 outfitting a lab with the latest forensic microscopes and other technology so students can analyze fingerprints, blood spatter and other evidence. There’s also a re-enactment room, which Criminal Justice Department Chair Alison Goodrich likes to call “the murder room.”

“It’s really a crime scene room,” said Goodrich. “It’s a very large space and the furnishings are all mobile, so we can turn it into a bedroom or a dining room or a living room or a street scene. And then we also have crime scene dummies, which are life-size female, male and children.”

The crime scene room and laboratory will allow students to simulate a crime and all of the work that goes into collecting and analyzing evidence from the crime scene. 

“It’s a fully functioning academic crime lab, so they’ll be able to do crime scene photography, sketching, they’ll be taking measurements, lifting fingerprints, they’ll be doing evidence preservation,” said Goodrich.

The criminal justice department serves about 500 students. Johnson & Wales expects Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and State Police Chief Colonel Steven O’Donnell to be among the law enforcement leaders at Tuesday’s ribbon cutting.

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The crime re-enactment room at the JWU criminal justice lab.
The crime re-enactment room at the JWU criminal justice lab.