This selection of sources presents a range of crimes, their punishments, and ideas about the treatment of criminals from past centuries.

Do you recognise all of the crimes shown in the sources? What about the punishments?

Have attitudes towards punishment changed?

Find evidence of attitudes to crime and punishment today (the news media, political policy documents, independent research reports and official statistics are good sources). Compare your findings with the sources provided here.

Identify a type of crime from the sources provided here. Research the same crime today. What types of punishment did it warrant in the past? Is it treated more or less seriously today?

Sentences for crimes 1819

Behaviour in prison 1817

Running a gaol 1835

The state of British prisons 1893

Use of birch rods 1899