National Museum of Crime & Punishment

National Museum of Crime & Punishment photo
National Museum of Crime & Punishment
9/22 - 12/8

Ongoing exhibits:

Interactive displays show the history of crime, as well as American crime-fighting and punishment.
Through 12/12

Homeland Security: ICE

An exhibition exploring the work of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement features gear worn by a U.S. Customs special agent during 9/11, counterfeit goods and more.
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Editorial Review

In a Nutshell:
Developed by the lawyer-businessman behind the WonderWorks amusement parks of Florida and Tennessee in partnership with TV host John Walsh of "America's Most Wanted," the museum aims to illuminate the history and practice of crime-fighting without glorifying criminals while reminding visitors that illegal actions have serious and sometimes painful-looking consequences. Call it "Scared Straight: The Museum."

Cost:
Adults $19.95 in advance, $21.95 at the door; seniors, military and law enforcement (ID required) $16.95 in advance, $19.95 at the door; children $14.95, free for age 4 and younger.

Ideal Visitor:
Anyone considering a career in law enforcement ... or crime.

Average Length of Visit:
2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours.

Bang for Your Buck:
4-1/2 stars (out of 5).
Definitely worth a visit.

By Michael O'Sullivan

Have a plan:
Purchase tickets at least a week in advance if you’re visiting in April through August, the museum’s busiest months. For insider scoops, sign up for an audio tour. Another good idea: Visit the set of the television show “America’s Most Wanted,” which has been filmed at the museum since it opened in 2008. A 45-minute guided tour is Saturdays at noon ($10 with admission, $12 without).

Insider tip:
See if you’ve got what it takes to be a forensic investigator, and sign up in advance for the museum’s CSI Lab Workshops. The hour-long sessions, which are usually on Saturdays and Sundays, cover such topics as DNA and body decomposition ($5 with admission).

By Kris Coronado

Updated April 25, 2012