1903-21: Two Divisions

A new prison for women opened adjacent to the existing male prison at Boggo Road on 3 October 1903. It had been constructed in response to a 1887 Parliamentary Inquiry, which recommended that female inmates should be kept in separate cells while in prison.

The neighbouring prisons were very similar in design and became known as the 'Male Division' and the 'Female Division'.

Gallery: Scenes from the Male and Female Divisions 1903-21 (click to enlarge images)

Vegetable crops on side of Male Division, Boggo Road Gaol, Brisbane, c.1915.
Superintendent's quarters, Boggo Road, Brisbane, c.1914.
Hospital ward, Male Division, Boggo Road, Brisbane, c.1914.
Front of the male and female divisions, Boggo Road, Brisbane, 1912.
Male Division compound, Boggo Road, Brisbane, c.1915.
Female Division quadrangle, Boggo Road, Brisbane, c.1915.
Plan of Boggo Road Gaol layout, c.1910
Cellblock in Female Division, Boggo Road Gaol, Brisbane, 1903.

The women's prison had three cellblocks, although the one now known as 'D Wing' was used as a workshop. It had enclosed flooring on each level, and a chapel was set up on the top floor. Despite having 80 separate cells (and two punishment cells), the daily numbers of female inmates was quite low, usually in the teens. The landings in both Divisions had coir matting on the iron walkways of each floor.

The male prison was still used to hold short-term inmates or those awaiting transfer to St Helena Island.

The prisoners took baths in the yards, in circular iron tubs.

The two prisons stayed like this until 1921, when the female inmates were moved to another building on the reserve and the whole site was reorganised.

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