Prison Records

A minority of children who were accommodated in the Residential Child Care facilities mentioned in Signposts may subsequently have had experience in the prison system after their time in out-of-home-care. Those people who are interested in trying to track down records of this contact may find the following information, which has been adapted from the Department’s guide, “Looking West”, useful.

The State Records Office holds records from the Gaols Department, its successor agencies and other related agencies. General information on prisons and gaols (some of which dates back to 1830) from throughout the State can be located through the records of these departments. The SRO also holds collections of records that relate specifically to individual prisons – the largest collection being that of Fremantle Prison. Records are also held for Albany Prison, Coolgardie Gaol, Geraldton Prison, Perth Gaol and Rottnest Native Prison. Indexes to these collections are available in the Search room of the State Records Office.

Further information is available in the Prison & Gaol Records Collection Guide on our website:

Years of operation

1830 to present day

Type of service

State Archives Collection

Format of records

Microfilm and original files

Information in records

Photographs of Prisoners are held for Fremantle Prison. Other examples of records held include, indexes to prisoners, reports and occurrence books and Registers of Prisoners. Registers of prison inmates may contain such information as name, nationality, place of birth, age, physical details, marital status, religion, trade and whether they can read and write. Particulars of conviction may also be shown including date, place, before whom, offence, sentence and remarks.


Various access restrictions may apply to prison and gaol records. For assistance with accessing restricted records please consult with the staff of the State Records Office.

Location of records

State Records Office of Western Australia

Ground Floor, Alexander Library Building

James Street West Entrance

Perth Cultural Centre

Perth WA 6000

Telephone: (08) 9427 3360

Facsimile: (08) 9427 3368


Opening Hours: 9:30 – 4:30 Monday – Friday

Note: These records were correct at the time of printing in 2004, however, record collections are continually being updated and increased.