In The News: Department of Criminal Justice
A new UNLV class is placing students in the middle of crime scenes.
In May 2008, when Christina Randall was released from prison after serving nearly three years for battery, robbery and escape, she had nothing but $30 and the brand-new, ill-fitting clothes on her back. She took up in a women’s shelter in South Florida, eight hours away from her friends and family, with a plan to start fresh.
A unique class at UNLV simulates crime scenes to give students real-world experience. The program is relatively new and aims to build confidence and introduce potential career choices.
Before hashtags circulated after the officer-involved death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, before vigils for Philando Castile, and the marches of Black Lives Matter, police in Suffolk County, New York, killed Kenny Lazo. Among its other ramifications, his 2008 death eventually resulted in the Forced Trajectory Project, or FTP, a media and advocacy organization, now based in Las Vegas, with a website that documents families and communities impacted by police killings.
A blind UNLV student has a unique perspective ahead of the new school year.
The Litchfield Correctional Facility in upstate New York might be the fictitious background of Netflix’s hit series “Orange is the New Black.” But the stories of the inmates — portrayed by Hollywood actresses — could be easily found throughout real women’s prisons across the U.S. and other countries.
Under fluorescent lights, a group of about 20 people huddles at a table listening to the static of the police-dispatch call fill the room.
Detectives bustle around a homicide scene while a public information officer fends off reporters crowded behind yellow tape. Social workers comfort traumatized witnesses while crime scene investigators collect evidence and examine the body.
It’s midday on a Thursday. The crime scene tape is up.
Rebecca Dunfield hurries out of the rain and rushes to her afternoon classes with her piping-hot peppermint tea in hand. It’s a similar scenario for other UNLV students.
Skye Dunfied is a 23-year-old junior at UNLV who is majoring in criminal justice and carrying a 3.9 GPA. Skye isn't your average student, however. She’s been legally blind since she was born.
She has a seeing eye dog named Cindi. Without Cindi, Skye's college experience would be more difficult.
Less than an hour after the first strike team entered Stephen Paddock’s suite at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas police officers far from the scene were already sharing cellphone photos of the dead gunman.