Saturday, November 22, 2008

J Ward, Prison for the Criminally Insane

In August this year I did a tour of J Ward, the former prison for the criminally insane in Victoria. Before that it was a gold fields prison. I loved it. It has been closed for about 12 years, and is now a museum.

Outside the main gate, looking up at the Governor's quarters.

A mortuary trolley. Now used for catering functions!!! One patron complained and the kitchen staff reportedly replied "What, it only ever had cold meat on it". Love it.

A cell in the "new" wing (built in the 1960's). If you could not be trusted with glass, the shutter would be shut and the only light would come in through the holes along the bottom of the shutter.

A cell during the day with the shutter OPEN!!

Corridor of cells in the original prison building.

Inmates would carve into the bluestone walls out of boredom, using tiny pieces of gravel from the asphalt. This poor guy never got any mail, so he thought if he made his own letter box.....

Some inmate carved grapes.

The "new" inmate toilets built in the 1960s. Outside in the yard, with no privacy. However....
This was an original toilet. They would have had "modesty screens" but they still had to go outside, in front of the guards and each other. There were no indoor toilets - they used chamber pots over night. I wonder how many guards ended up with a chamber pot shower.
I will post some more pics eventually.

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