Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The National Museum of Crime and Punishment (NMCP)

The following is an article sent to me from Eric Higgins, who works with the new Crime Museum in DC. I am looking forward to visiting this museum asap myself! Thanks so much Eric for informing us about the new Museum.


If you’re planning a trip to the nation’s capital, you have to check out the latest addition to the Washington DC museum scene—the National Museum of Crime & Punishment (NMCP). Fun for the whole family, the NMCP takes you through interactive environments highlighting the history of crime, methods of punishment, and law enforcement. Other specialized exhibits include crime scene investigation and the America’s Most Wanted studio.

Beginning with the Middle Ages and moving on through the Colonial times, Wild West, post-World War I era, and into the present day, “A Notorious History of Crime” showcases the evolution of crime spanning centuries in America. The weapons and technology used to commit crimes may have changed, but the motives have generally remained the same. Discover the stories of famous outlaws and mobsters that drove the police crazy, and learn about some of the most distinguished criminal events on record. Don’t forget to get your picture taken with your head and hands locked in the pillory, a rare example of punishment nostalgia.

At the “Punishment: The Consequence of Crime” display, find out firsthand what it’s like to become a criminal as you tour a replica police station. From being booked and getting your mug shot taken to life inside a cold concrete jail cell, you’ll get an understanding of our country’s prison system and why it’s a place no one in their right mind would want to be for any length of time. How cool can you perform under pressure? Get hooked up to the lie detector and test yourself.

Working in the line of law enforcement is not for everyone. The “Crime Fighting” gallery outlines what a career as a crime fighter entails, the tasks of various law enforcement agencies, and how each division works together. Observe the uniforms, weapons, and equipment that law personnel must familiarize themselves with, and even rate your skills as a gun slinger at the shooting range simulator.

Are you a fan of the hit television shows CSI: New York or CSI: Miami? If so, the “CSI Experience” will not disappoint you. Smack-dab in the middle of a murder mystery, see if you have what it takes to uncover the clues at the crime scene and analyze them back at the lab using common forensic science techniques. Next, move on to the morgue to learn the ins and outs of an autopsy, or browse through files from some of the most notable cold cases.

Everyone has watched America’s Most Wanted, and now, the longest-running series in American television history has made the NMCP its new home. Discover why host John Walsh started the show and how successful it has been in bringing hundreds of fugitives to justice. Bring your children to the Cross Match Technologies booth to have them fingerprinted. It will be an enjoyable experience for them, but it will also be for a good cause, since all prints will be entered into a nationwide database for future reference.

Whether you are young or old, the National Museum of Crime & Punishment has something interesting for all ages. Located in the heart of the city directly across from the Verizon Center, the NMCP is a “can’t miss” attraction on your Washington DC tours list.

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