During the Victorian era, kids as young as eleven received adult sentences for minor crimes. Here’s an assortment of children’s mugshots taken in Newcastle, England during the early 1870s. If some of them weren’t labeled “PHOTOGRAPH OF PRISONER,” you might mistake these portraits for yearbook photos.
These photographs — which were shot between December, 1871 to December, 1873 — come to us from the Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums’ Flickr page. They depict convicted criminals who spent time in the Newcastle city jail. Many of these prisoners were incarcerated or sentenced to hard labor for petty theft — purloined wood, beef, and waistcoats are among the objects that got them into trouble.