What does the CIRC do?

Allowing civilians to work on whole cases may not be initially considered, but using credible community resources, such as the Criminal Investigation Resource Center at Russell Sage, assists with time management and allows investigators to work on cold cases more effectively.

An effective use of resources

Even if the agency does not have time to actively pursue a case at this time, it is also beneficial to organize and digitize files for future access. When investigators do have time, case documents are already organized for easy reference, and an investigator can request CIRC to conduct follow-up research. 

Students in the CIRC work on actual and complete unresolved cases supplied by partner law enforcement agencies. Maintaining a high degree of confidentiality and professionalism, students:

  • Research and organize case files
  • Identify any additional suspects or people of interest
  • Recommend forensic testing when appropriate
  • Interact with victims’ families, law enforcement, and associations related to unresolved crimes
  • Reconstruct crimes
  • Locate those connected to the crime, including potential suspects and people who knew the victims and may hold important information
  • Assist with media outreach to bring attention to unresolved cases

Besides having fresh eyes on a case, additional examples of assistance provided include identifying credible suspects; locating current people of interest current residences and contact numbers; collecting information from libraries/clerks/archives; researching law during the time of the crime; conducting genealogy of suspects, if deceased; collecting newspaper articles and  geographic maps; and creating document catalogs and code documents for easy access to specific information on key evidence or suspects. 

Media Outreach

Dr. Lane and Dr. Kunkle have also assisted in the production of podcasts and television shows on various cold cases to stimulate leads, keep cases alive, and let the community know that unresolved cases are not forgotten. 

Students receive internship course credit for their work in the center.

They must apply to be accepted to the CIRC.

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