Victorian Values - Crime and Punishment
Activities related to Let the Punishment Fit the Crime
Resources required - archive material:
- Newspaper article on Sheffield Court Sessions
- Police ‘Tickets of Leave’ for Edward Welsh and Ann Hunt
Comparing the way that crime was dealt with in late Victorian Times to the way it is dealt with now.
Look at the newspaper article (May 1865) reporting on Sheffield Court Sessions. Find the references to Edward Welsh and Ann Hunt. What were their crimes and sentences?
Download the worksheet: Crime and Punishment 1865 and Today.
Fill in the details you have found out.
What would the punishment be for these offences today? Complete the worksheet by finding out what other penalties people were given at the 1865 Sheffield Court Sessions.
Imagine that you are either Edward Welsh or Ann Hunt on the day of their release from prison.
Write a diary entry. How do you feel? What are your worries? Has your prison sentence made you turn away from crime?
This could also be a 'hot seating' activity.
Organise a discussion about crime and punishment.
Do long sentences stop people from committing crimes? Which system of punishment is the most effective - the Victorians or our system today? Why do people break the law? Think about other countries in the world, which still have very harsh punishments. Does this produce a better society?
This could also be organised as a debate.
This could be a good opportunity to invite a speaker in from the probation service or the police, or an organisation such as Amnesty International (see website link below).