Research Guide 233 - Criminal Justice Records on the Archives of Ontario website is an excellent place to learn more about Ontario justice records--i.e. provincial offences; sentences less than 2 years.
Library and Archives Canada holds records of the following federal institutions. Many of these records are closed to the public; however, the links to the LAC holdings are included here for your convenience:
- Bath Institution (1985-1996)
- Collins Bay Penitentiary (1934-1937)
- Frontenac Institution (c1980-1989)
- Joyceville Institution (1971-1994)
- Kingston Penitentiary
- Pittsburgh Institution (1974-1990)
- Prison for Women (c1979-1996)
See also: the Research page on the website of Canada's Penitentiary Museum.
Correctional Service of Canada fonds
This archive includes liberation and punishment books, daily reports and medical registers.
Warrants and pardons
The Government of Canada kept records of prisoners who were moved or pardoned for various reasons. Some of these records are available on microfilm from Library and Archives Canada (see the table below). Please note that there are some gaps, and there are some overlaps in the date ranges.
The History of Kingston Penitentiary, Historic Kingston, Vol. 3, 1954.
Historic Kingston, Vol. 3, 1954.
Canada's Big House: The Dark History of the Kingston Penitentiary
Kingston Penitentiary: The First Hundred And Fifty Years, 1835-1985
Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Certain Disturbances at Kingston Penitentiary during April 1971
Report Of The Superintendent Of Penitentiaries Re Kingston Penitentiary Disturbances, 1932
Subject And Name Index To The Warden's Letterbook, Kingston Penitentiary, 1848-1856
Use this index to reference Conditional Pardons, Kingston Penitentiary - Warden's Letterbook.
Convict deaths at the Kingston Penitentiary 1835-1915
Conditional Pardons, Kingston Penitentiary - Warden's Letterbook
The letterbook contains correspondence relating to escapes, prison deaths, and the release of convicts, including military prisoners. The letterbook itself is available on microfilm, but the index is available only in hardcopy.
Kingston Penitentiary inmate history description ledger
Library and Archives Canada has made available online four volumes of records about Kingston Penitentiary inmates. Most of the records date from about 1912 to 1919, with a small number of earlier or later records. Each page includes a pair of photographs (mug shots), a physical description of the inmate, date and place of sentencing, and the crime for which he was convicted. In some cases, a newspaper clipping about the crime has been pasted into the ledger.
The inmates' names are searchable on the LAC website.