Serious Offenders: A Historical Study of Habitual Criminals examines the persistent offending careers of men and women operating in northwest England between the 1840s and 1940s. The book focuses on a group of serious and persistent offenders who as well as offending in the region, had lengthy offending careers spanning several decades in various other locations. These were highly mobile persistent serious offenders who appear not to have been so closely bound in to the processes and structures which aided desistence from offending for the vast majority of the petty offenders. The authors discuss questions such as: Why did some people remain minor offenders, whilst others developed into serious offenders? What were the triggers which propelled previously minor offenders towards persistent serious criminality? What part did changes in criminal legislation play in these processes? They conclude by drawing on the lessons to be learnt for today's debates about the regulation and surveillance of serious habitual offenders.