By the time the Melbourne Gaol was built ideas about how criminals should be punished were changing. Traditionally people had not been imprisoned for long sentences. In Australia serious offenders were hanged or sent to penal establishments like Port Arthur. But new gaols were now being built around the world, reflecting new attitudes.
- So what did the new gaols look like and how were inmates treated?
- How was this different to Australia's earlier convict history?
- And why was prison now considered a way of preventing crime?
Scroll through the narrative galleries below to explore how the Melbourne Gaol represented nineteenth century ideas of using punishment as a way of reforming prisoners. Hover your mouse over an image to reveal further information.