HM Prison Pentridge

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

HM Prison Pentridge
Pentridge.jpg
LocationCoburg, Victoria
Coordinates37°44′21″S 144°58′9″E / 37.73917°S 144.96917°E / -37.73917; 144.96917Coordinates: 37°44′21″S 144°58′9″E / 37.73917°S 144.96917°E / -37.73917; 144.96917
StatusClosed, partly demolished
Security classMaximum security
Opened1851
Closed1997
 
Jump to: navigation, search
HM Prison Pentridge
Pentridge.jpg
LocationCoburg, Victoria
Coordinates37°44′21″S 144°58′9″E / 37.73917°S 144.96917°E / -37.73917; 144.96917Coordinates: 37°44′21″S 144°58′9″E / 37.73917°S 144.96917°E / -37.73917; 144.96917
StatusClosed, partly demolished
Security classMaximum security
Opened1851
Closed1997

HM Prison Pentridge was an Australian prison built in 1850 in Coburg, Victoria. The first prisoners arrived in 1851. The prison officially closed on 1 May 1997.[1]

Pentridge was often known by the nickname "The Bluestone College", "Coburg College" or the "College of Knowledge". The grounds were originally landscaped by renowned landscape gardener Hugh Linaker.[2] Since decommissioning, the prison has been partly demolished to make way for a housing development. Large buildings have been built and a 16 floor modern apartment block is being planned.

The site is split in two with the northern prison being developed by Valad Property Group and the other areas by Pentridge Village. The National Trust has expressed strong concerns about the nature of the Heritage Victoria-approved Master Plans which involve peppering the walls with holes and building high-density high-rise between the historic divisions.[3]

Divisions[edit]

Cells of Pentridge Prison

The prison was split into many divisions, named using letters of the alphabet.

Jika Jika high security unit[edit]

Jika Jika, opened in 1980[citation needed] at a cost of 7 million Australian dollars, was a 'gaol within a gaol' maximum security section, designed to house Victoria's hardest and longest serving prisoners. It was awarded the 'Excellence in Concrete Award' by the Concrete Institute of Australia before being closed, 8 years later, amidst controversy after the deaths of five prisoners in 1987.[4]

The design of Jika Jika was based on the idea of six separate units at the end of radiating spines. The unit comprised electronic doors, closed-circuit TV and remote locking, designed to keep staff costs to a minimum and security to a maximum. The furnishings were sparse and prisoners exercised in aviary-like escape proof yards.

In 1983 four prisoners escaped from ‘escape proof’ Jika Jika. When two prison officers were disciplined in relation to the Jika Jika escape a week-long strike occurred.

1987 Jika Jika prison fire[edit]

Inmates Robert Wright, Jimmy Loughnan, Arthur Gallagher, David McGauley and Ricky Morris – from one side of the unit – and Craig 'Slim' Minogue and three other inmates on the other side sealed off their section doors with a tennis net. Mattresses and other bedding were then stacked against the doors. The windows in the day room were then covered with paper so the prison officers couldn't identify which prisoners caused the ensuing damage.

Prisoners Robert Wright, Jimmy Loughnan, Arthur Gallagher, David McGauley and Ricky Morris died in the fire. Convicted Russell Street bomber Craig Minogue and 3 other inmates survived as they were evacuated when the fire started.

Grave sites[edit]

Ned Kelly the day before his execution by hanging. His remains were buried at the former Pentridge Prison site.

The grave site of bushranger Ned Kelly formerly lay within the walls of Pentridge Prison while Ronald Ryan's remains have been returned to his family. Kelly was executed by hanging at the Melbourne Gaol in 1880 and his remains moved to Pentridge Prison in 1929, after his skeleton was disturbed on 12 April 1929 by workmen constructing the present Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) building. Peter Norden, former prison chaplain at Pentridge Prison, has campaigned for the site's restoration.

As of 2009, most of the bodies have been exhumed by archaeologists and have either been re-interred in the original cemetery near D Division, are awaiting identification at the Melbourne morgue or have been returned to their families.[citation needed]

In 2011, Ned Kelly's remains were once again exhumed and returned to his survivng descendants for a proper family burial. His skull however is still missing. Recent DNA testing showed that a skull thought to be his was not in fact his.[citation needed]

Executions[edit]

Last execution[edit]

Ronald Ryan was the last man executed at Pentridge Prison and in Australia. Ryan was hanged in "D" Division at 8.00 on 3 February 1967 after being convicted of the shooting death of a prison officer during a botched escape from the same prison. Later that day, Ryan's body was buried in an unmarked grave within the "D" Division prison facility.

Notable prisoners[edit]

Entrance of Pentridge gaol circa 1861.

Timeline[edit]

Escapes[edit]

Usage in media[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Egger, Simone; David McClymont (2004). Melbourne. Lonely Planet. p. 69. ISBN 1-74059-766-4. 
  2. ^ "Mont Park Psychiatric Hospital Precinct (listing RNE100229)". Australia Heritage Places Inventory. Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Retrieved 12 November 2008. 
  3. ^ "Pentridge tower gets nod". The Age (Melbourne). 29 April 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  4. ^ O'Toole, Sean (2006). The History of Australian Corrections. UNSW Press. pp. 84–85. ISBN 0-86840-915-4. 
  5. ^ 19 Jan 1951 – WARDERS WITNESS DARING ESCAPE FROM PENTRIDGE MEL. Ndpbeta.nla.gov.au. Retrieved on 2011-12-04.
  6. ^ 20 Jan 1951 – SEARCH FOR GAOL ESCAPEE MELBOURNE, Monday. Ndpbeta.nla.gov.au. Retrieved on 2011-12-04.
  7. ^ 23 Jan 1951 – GAOL ESCAPEE SAYS HE HAS REFORMED MELBOURNE, Thu. Ndpbeta.nla.gov.au. Retrieved on 2011-12-04.
  8. ^ 19 Jan 1951 – GAOL ESCAPEE RECAPTURED MELBOURNE, Tuesday. Ndpbeta.nla.gov.au. Retrieved on 2011-12-04.
  9. ^ 20 Jan 1951 – GAOL ESCAPEE WELL GUARDED MELBOURNE, Wednesday. Ndpbeta.nla.gov.au. Retrieved on 2011-12-04.
  10. ^ 15 Jan 1952 – CONVICT MURDERER KILLED IN ESCAPE BID; COMPANION. Ndpbeta.nla.gov.au. Retrieved on 2011-12-04.
  11. ^ 16 Jan 1952 – PRISON STAFF COMMENDED; ESCAPE FOILED MELBOURNE. Ndpbeta.nla.gov.au. Retrieved on 2011-12-04.
  12. ^ "Man shot dead in bid to flee gaol". The Sydney Morning Herald. 15 April 1952. 
  13. ^ "Through Roof". The Age (Melbourne). 17 January 1961. 
  14. ^ a b c d "Prisoner's death". The Age (Melbourne). 10 May 1972. 
  15. ^ Dunn, Alan (2 February 1973). "Axe murderer escapes from Pentridge gaol". The Age (Melbourne). 
  16. ^ "'Jockey' is back facing court again". The Age (Melbourne). 3 December 1989. 
  17. ^ "Mattress pile clue to gaol escape". The Age (Melbourne). 5 October 1974. 
  18. ^ "Tighten up order after Pentridge escape". The Age (Melbourne). 28 April 1976. 
  19. ^ "Prisoner escapes over wall". The Age (Melbourne). 17 October 1977. p. 4. 
  20. ^ "Prisoner used jail gear for escape". The Age (Melbourne). 20 January 1978. p. 5. 
  21. ^ a b Marshall, Ian (24 July 1980). "No news is dull viewing". The Age (Melbourne). p. 2. 
  22. ^ Gray, Tony; Eccleston, Roy (21 July 1982). "Prison had two warnings of escape: Toner". The Age (Melbourne). p. 3. 
  23. ^ Athersmith, Fiona (30 March 1988). "Robber gets 12 more months for escape from Pentridge". The Age (Melbourne). p. 18. 
  24. ^ Airbourne's official site, accessed 1 August 2009
  25. ^ Everynight... Everynight, National Film and Sound Archive, Accessed 8 March 2008

External links[edit]