Continuing on from my visit to the Fremantle Prison, we had a tour of the yard (play ground). Back in the day there was no shelter, it is here that prisoners spent some considerable time exposed to the elements, rain hail or shine.
The sun led to the rising heat in the yard, up to 55 degrees, I’m guessing sunscreen wasn’t always an option. Wondering if hats were supplied, but I doubt it.
The yard held a fair few hundred prisoners, all crammed into one space and the only guard on duty for this yard was posted at one end, secured behind a grilled gate, he could only see a small area of the yard directly in front of him, bodies would have blocked his view.
Can you imagine what went on, apparently a lot, and of course?
- No one owned up
- Didn’t see anything
- Wasn’t me
Not only did you have the luxury of the yard bog, but also if you were up for it you potentially were:
Joys of prison life
One of the prisoner’s chores was to bring a hot urn in from the kitchen into the cells so prisoners could get a cup of hot tea before bedtime. Often the only hot part of the meal they had, as by the time the dinner trolley made it’s rounds the dinners were cold by the time they reached you.
On a particularly hot afternoon after a 7-day heat wave things got a bit tense back in the late 80’s.
Four prisoners carrying two urns, made their way back into the cell area where four guards were posted to watch them fill the prisoners cups that were placed outside their cells.
This particular time the prisoners instead of filling the cups, upended the urns full off boiling water over the guards, upon hearing the screaming and shouting all the prisoners ran in from the yard and proceeded to trash the place and set it alight contributing to millions of dollars of damage, not to mention the injury to the guards. Wonder if they regret their actions today?
Please don’t give me ‘You don’t understand what it was like’. Maybe don’t get yourself in trouble in the first place and try behaving and contributing to society and your fellow neighbour in a good way.
Be mindful that there were no CCTV or electronic monitoring of any description, the prison was completely paper based.
To this day there are still prisoners
bastards in jail for this crime, the guards survived but that is all I know of them.
There was an inquiry into the riot, go figure, the result was:
- Over crowded
Prisoners clearly deserved better and they had a point to prove didn’t they.
Rules changed after the riot and they installed a turn style gate so prisoners could enter only one at a time
Don’t you just hate measures taken after incidents, (damage done too late) where was the risk assessments
Now onwards we go to the hanging room and the flogging post for next time, as I don’t even have time to read long posts, I don’t expect you do either. I hate skimming what others have posted as I feel like I’m cheating and not doing their work justice.