Document Type

Book Chapter


In 1971 a riot by inmates in Bathurst Gaol destroyed the accommodation and industrial wings of one of New South Wales oldest Gaols. The riots were a response by prisoners to systematic and organized bashings of prisoners by prison officers in that jails and others in the state prison system. The violence that sparked the riots was a characteristic of the NSW prison system up to the 1970s where bashing of prisoners was a form of maintaining law and order within the confines of the prison. The culture of the "biff" was prevalent in most NSW Gaols such as Grafton, Maitland, Goulburn and Long Bay Prison in Sydney. The destruction and evacuation of Bathurst Gaol signaled a watershed in prison management as the improverished state of NSW gaols attracted significant public attention.