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Seniors Learn the Science Behind Crime Investigation with Ramapo College


The average person’s perception of forensic science primarily comes from popular TV crime dramas, but residents of Brandywine Living at Mahwah had the opportunity to learn the science behind crime investigation’s real-life counterpart.

Donna Crawley, Professor of Psychology at Ramapo College of New Jersey, lectured on the topic “Forensic Science and Eyewitness Identification” as part of a Lifelong Learning partnership program with the college.

Professor Crawley provided an interactive lesson on how easily we can make mistakes as an eyewitness to a crime. She advised that “people reconstruct their memories, so they are prone to inaccuracies.” Eyewitness testimony implicates approximately 75,000 defendants each year in the US. About 80% of people that are later exonerated for crimes that they did not commit were imprisoned due to mistaken identification.

The audience’s favorite part of the program was when they had the opportunity to role-play as “eyewitnesses.” Professor Crawley showed pictures of five men that were committing a robbery. After the lecture and discussion, she showed us line-ups and mugs shots so we could try to identify the robbers, which proved to be difficult.

The residents thoroughly enjoyed the presentation and couldn’t help but to compare the information to their favorite TV crime dramas.

About Brandywine Living
Brandywine Living (formerly Brandywine Senior Living) is a market leader in luxury senior living, including assisted living, memory care and independent living. Founded in 1996, and headquartered in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, Brandywine current­ly operates 29 communities in six states (PA, NJ, NY, CT, VA & DE) with the capacity to serve over 3,000 residents.