If the recent release of the Criminal Registers 1791-1892 on Ancestry.co.uk has inspired you to start chasing after a criminal in your own family tree then you might be interested in some of the podcasts produced by The National Archives on the subjects of criminals and prisons.
These podcasts are recordings of talks given at The National Archives in Kew, and cover a varied range of subjects and historical periods (right up to only a few decades ago). Usually, but not always, the talk has some connection to the holdings of The National Archives. The show notes for each podcast contain a varying degree of background material, all have a brief description of the talk, but some also include illustrations and a transcript of the talk.
Those relevant to the subject of criminals and prisons include:
Victorian Women Prisoners by Chris Heather (published 9th October 2008)
The real Little Dorrit: Charles Dickens and the debtors’ prison by David Thomas (published 28th November 2008)
Catching Victorian and Edwardian criminals on paper by Professor Barry Godfrey and Doctor David Cox (published 8th May 2009)
Prison: five hundred years behind bars by Edward Marston (published 22nd May 2009)
If you watched last week’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? with Kate Humble then you might also want to have a listen to the podcast about The Great Escape, which tells the real story behind the events that inspired the film.