The records consist of nominal registers of prisoners 1917-1967 and are arranged chronologically within three groups, namely, youth registers, adult registers and Borstal training registers. Indexes have been deposited for each group. In addition a Number of unidentified pages of photographs were deposited with the registers.
The collection has been arranged into one series:
LMA/4417/01 REGISTERS OF PRISONERS
See also the records of HM Prison, Wandsworth ACC/3444
THESE RECORDS ARE OPEN TO PUBLIC INSPECTION, ALTHOUGH RECORDS CONTAINING PERSONAL INFORMATION MAY BE SUBJECT TO CLOSURE PERIODS
Administrative / biographical background:
Wormwood Scrubs prison was designed in 1870s by Major-General Edmund Du Cane, chairman of the Directors of Convict Prisons, as a national long-term penitentiary, built on a site in East Acton with convict labour. By the time the prison was completed, its entire purpose had, however, changed, and it became a local prison for short-term petty offenders. Today Wormwood Scrubbs provides lower security accommodation for remand and short-term prisoners.
From 1904, the prison also became part of the Borstal system for young offenders, and in 1929 it was made an allocation centre from which newly-sentenced trainees were assessed before being sent to a suitable Borstal. In addition Wormwood Scrubbs came to specialise in holding first time offenders, or 'star' prisoners as they were known. It has more recently become a prison in which life-sentence prisoners are assessed in the early years of their terms.
During the Second World War, part of the prison was evacuated for the use of MI5 and the War Department, and by the end of the war, a section of the hospital wing was being used as condemned quarters for prisoners from Wandsworth and Pentonville prisons.