The main historic records of the criminal justice system can be found in the National Archives and local record offices.

The National Archives (TNA) holds the records of:

The National Archives holds a huge range of records available, many of which are also now digitised and available from www.findmypast.co.uk.

The best way to explore what is available at TNA is by using their excellent online guides. For example: Criminals and Convicts, Criminal Trials in the Assize Courts, 1559-1971 and Police.

Local Record Offices also hold some criminal justice and policing records. For example, these include

  • local and regional police and constabulary archives
  • records of the court (Assize, Quarter Sessions, Petty Sessions or Magistrates court)
  • local prison archives and reformatory and industrial school archives.

Survival and access can vary from archive to archive. Many record offices have excellent online information online (for example, the West Yorkshire Archives Service and the East Riding Archives Service).

Before you visit an archive make sure you read the guidance on the website. Many allow you to register and even order in advance, so it is worth doing some initial preparation before you go. Archive staff are usually happy to answer questions although you are advised to contact them in advance of your visit, especially for more complicated queries (see the Researching Here section for getting started at TNA).

Latest Updates on Twitter

Types of 'employment' & wages of prisoners in #Ripon House of Correction in 1872. Oakum picking had been introduced by the Governor, William Smith (formerly Sgt of the Ripon Police) in 1863. #NorthYorkshire @ourcriminalpast @prisonhistoryuk @CaPnetworkUK

@MAMBarLife @ourcriminalpast Yes. Ideally no windows, though some had small windows or grates for ventilation. Box Blind House is a true blind house - they managed to put the ventilation in the chimney https://tinyurl.com/eju6un9w

Finding a burial record is an important part of tracing your ancestor's story. Here's how to search the records of local cemeteries online

https://www.whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.com/tutorials/cemetery-records-online/

1. Another in our #LostPrisonsofDublin series. "New Newgate" opened in 1781 to replace "Old Newgate", the medieval city prison located in Cornmarket. Designed by Thomas Cooley, it was quickly seen as out-dated and overcrowded with poor ventilation and sanitation. (image DCC)

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Although the Met had detectives from 1842, when the painter William Frith wanted 2 real life officers as models for his depiction of an arrest (right), he used Michael Haydon and James Brett of the City of London Police, 2 of the finest thief takers of the day #AVeryBritishMurder

#365Relatives #365Anniversaries My 3xGt Grandmother, Helen PHILIP (née TAYLOR) died on 8 April 1876 at the Haddington District Asylum. She had been admitted to the asylum in December 1873. The @scottishindexes website is a great source for details of patients in Scottish asylums.

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Final call: PhD studentship on the Corps of Commissionaires in C20 Britain. Great opportunity to explore social history of military, post-military transitions, charity and private security. Deadline this Friday https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SmN88AkqFzhqVLYgxvPK18KY_2hNFbMc85K0uLoR2zE/edit#heading=h.g0dsvd6a6j6t

On Wednesday 14th, our final Criminology Rising Star speaker for the year will be Ben Jarman @bjarman_ discussing 'Penal theory, moral communication, and personal ethics’ (1pm). Support (12.15pm) is from our own Simone Santorso @cccjhull. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/criminology-rising-star-guest-speaker-series-202021-tickets-125894041467