This chapter examines the development of police and prisons in Melanesia from their origins in early colonial times to the present day, including changing perceptions of crime and disorder. Generalising across Melanesia’s diversity, including its varied colonial and post-colonial histories, is a fraught task. Embedded in national justice systems, police and prisons are core institutions of the modern state. The chapter deals with some broad observations about continuities and change in relation to the relatively short history of police, crime and prisons in modern Melanesia. It examines police and prisons in examined police and prisons in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, in the broader context of their colonial and post-colonial development, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, in the broader context of their colonial and post-colonial development. Police and prisons began as parts of the small and under-resourced colonial administrations established in different Melanesian territories, for the most part, in the second half of the nineteenth century.