Starting out in one room in 1989 the museum moved into the decommissioned Cooma Correctional Centre in 1998. When the centre re-opened in 2002, two adjacent Corrective Services houses were converted into a new museum space and opened by the Commissioner of Corrective Services on 25 August 2005.
Highlights of the collection include an original portable cell, restraint devices (e.g. manacles and leg irons), convict and prisoner clothing, tin wear manufactured within prison industries, security equipment (e.g. riot shields and batons), contraband (e.g. inmate weapons, escape devices and tattoo guns), artefacts from the notorious Katingal gaol, photographs, videos, oral histories, and film documentation.
This slide show focuses on selected items in the museum collection. The museum brings together historical objects from correctional centres across the State of NSW to aid in their preservation, display and marketing. The collection has significant heritage value and contributes to an understanding of Australia's cultural history as a penal colony.