Annual Prison Reports

Oct 28, 2015 0 comments
Arthur Halloran, Sheriff of Queensland, 1864.
Arthur Halloran, Sheriff of Queensland, 1864. (State Library of Queensland)
Each year the person in charge of Queensland's prison system prepared a detailed report on the state of the prisons. Until 1894 this was the job of the Sheriff of Queensland, and in later years it was completed by the Comptroller-General of Prisons.

Unlike the modern-day reports from the Department of Corrective Services, which tend to be more secretive and selective about which information is shared with the public, these earlier reports were a mine of detailed information, with tables of precise statistics on such subjects as:

- Number of prisoners through each prison
- Instances of punishment administered in each prison
- Range of offences committed
- Nationalities of prisoners
- Religions of prisoners
- Offences committed inside prison and punishments awarded
- Occupational backgrounds of prisoners
- Ages of prisoners
- Work performed by prisoners in prison
- Duration of sentences
- Diseases and deaths in prison

The reports for 1912-16 also featured a range of excellent photos of various prisons around the State.

The reports can be found in libraries that stock copies of the annual Queensland Parliamentary Papers.

An example of one report (from 1889) can be viewed here (PDF 5MB).

The Boggo Road Gaol Historical Society has copies of most annual reports. While we cannot make all of these available online as yet, we can provide links to the following newspaper articles which usually give good overviews of those reports. (Please note that the dates listed below refer to the date of the actual articles, which discuss the prison report for the previous year.)

; 1873; 1875; 1877;

; 1881; 1884; 1885; 1886; 1887 (Inquiry into Gaols); 1889

1890; 1891; 1892; 1893; 1894; 1895; 1896; 1897; 1898;

1900; 1902; 1903; 1904; 1905; 1906; 1907; 1908; 1909

1910; 1911; 1912; 1913; 1914; 1915; 1916; 1917; 1918;

; 1922; 1923; 1924; 1925; 1926; 1929

; 1932; 1937;

; 1943;

1950; 1954; 1956;

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