1. These rules and regulations, &c., are for the sole use and information of the officers, they are not to be lent to any person, neither is the information contained therein to be given to any other person either directly or indirectly.
  2. Any officer may have the use of one of the books and take it out of the prison for perusal, as often and for such length of time as the Governor may permit, and the books shall be kept in the prison under lock and key when not in actual use.





This book has been prepared for use in the Prison Service, and is the first compilation of the kind in Victoria. It contains all rules and regulations which have been made by the Governor in Council under The Gaol Law Amendment Act 1887; also the regulations for the guidance of officers, together with the Acts of Parliament relating to the administration of prisons, and certain extracts from the regulations for the guidance of the constabulary as to police gaols.

The rules are numbered so as to avoid a separate enumeration under each principle heading, and when quoting rules in correspondence, the number only need be given.

The Statutes should be cited in the usual way.

It is hoped that this manual will supply a want long felt in the department by all the officers.

7th May, 1888.


    1. Breaches of Discipline,
    2. Classification of Prisoners in Gaols (exclusive of Penal Establishments),
    3. Division of sexes,
    4. Dietary Scales,
    5. General Discipline, Males, Females,
    6. Separate Confinement,
    7. Separation of Prisoners,
    8. Employment of Prisoners and Hours of Labour,
    9. Photographing and Description of Prisoners,
    10. Termination and Remission of Sentences,
    11. Gratuities on Discharge of Prisoners,
    12. Petitions,
    13. Hospital,
    14. Library,
    15. Instruction of Prisoners,
    16. Ministers of Religion,
    17. Visitors,
    18. Prohibited Articles,
    19. Visiting Justices,
    20. Application of Rules and Regulations in Division 2.,
    1. General,
    2. Visiting Justices,
    3. Gaoler,
    4. Senior Chief Warder,
    5. Medical Officer,
    6. Visiting Chaplains,
    7. Storekeeper, &c.,
    8. Schoolmaster,
    9. Overseers of Labour,
    10. Chief Warders,
    11. Senior Warders and Warders,
    12. Female Officers,
    13. Offences,


Whereas by section 6 of “The Gaols Act 1887” it is enacted that the Governor in Council may from time to time make, vary, alter, or evoke rules and regulations for the purposes in the said section mentioned: And whereas by section 318 of “The Criminal Law and Practice Statute 1864” it is enacted that it shall be lawful for the Governor in Council to make rules and regulations for the purpose in the said section mentioned: Now therefore I, Sir Henry Broughton Loch, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Governor and Commander-in-Chief in and over the Colony of Victoria and its Dependencies, acting by and with the advice of the Executive Council of the said colony, do hereby make the following rules and regulations, that is to say:-


  1. In these rules and regulations the following terms shall, unless the context otherwise requires, have the meanings herein-after respectively assigned to them, that is to say.
  • “Gaol” includes prison, hulk, and penal establishment.
  • “Gaoler” means governor, keeper, officer, or other person for the time being in charge of the gaol in respect of which the term is used.
  • “Inspector-General” means the Inspector-General of Penal Establishments of the Acting Inspector-General of Penal Establishments for the time being, and shall include the deputy or assistant Inspector-General
  • “Matron” means the principle or only female officer of any gaol
  • “Medical Officer” means the medical officer of the gaol in respect of which the term is used, or the medical officer of the gaol in which the prisoner in connexion with whom the term is used is for the time being confined.
  • “Officer” includes any person specially appointed to supervise the labour of prisoners.
  • “Prisoner” means and includes any person detained in custody in any gaol, irrespective of the cause of such detention.
  • “Warder” includes every officer below the rank of chief warder, and shall also include warders acting as instructors.
  1. Except where express provision is made to the contrary, these rules and regulations shall apply to persons who are prisoners at the date of the making hereof, and shall also apply to all persons who are prisoners at the time of the making hereof, they shall be construed as if they had been actually in force at the time when such persons respectively became prisoners.


Breaches of Discipline.

  1. In case of any breach of these rules and regulations, the same shall be forthwith reported to the gaoler, and all such offences shall be submitted to the decision of the gaoler, who may hear and determine charges against any prisoner of any such breach, and may punish such prisoner in manner prescribed by and subject to the provisions of section eight of “The Gaols Act 1887.”

Classification of Prisoners in Gaols (Exclusive of Penal Establishments).

  1. In all cases where possible the prisoners are to be divided into the following classes:-
Prisoners awaiting trial, and committed for re-examination, not previously convicted.
Prisoners awaiting trial, and committed for re-examination, who have been previously convicted.
Prisoners confined for contempt or in default of finding bail, or surities to keep the peace, or for non-payment of debts or other moneys, not previously convicted. 
Prisoners confined for contempt or in default of finding bail, or sureties to keep the peace, or for non-payment of debts or other moneys, previously convicted. 
Prisoners, first convicted, six months and under (fines).
Prisoners under sentence, first conviction, six months and under. 
Prisoners under sentence, first conviction. 
Prisoners under sentence, second and subsequent convictions. 
Sheriff's debtors.
Prisoners during the pleasure of the Governor. 
Prisoners against whom sentence of death has been recorded. 
Prisoners under sentence of death. 
Prisoners sentenced to imprisonment for life. 
Prisoners sentenced to solitary confinement only. 
All other prisoners. 

Division of Sexes.

  1. In all gaols where females are confined, the yards, workrooms, wars, cells, hospital, and other buildings for the use of such female prisoners shall be separate and apart from those for males, and shall be fitted with locks requiring different keys from those in use in other parts of the gaol.
  2. Neither the gaoler nor any other male officer shall have in his possession the separate keys of the portion of the gaol allotted to females, nor any keys which will afford access to such portion. No male officer or person shall be permitted to enter into or remain in any of the yards, workrooms, wards, cells, or the hospital, or other portion of the gaol allotted to females, except in the company of a female officer, or while one is in attendance.

Dietary Scales.

  1. Daily Rations for prisoners at hard labour:-
  Males. Females.
Bread 20 oz 12 oz
Maize or oaten meal 8 oz 6 oz
Meat 12oz 8 oz
Potatoes 16 oz 12 oz
Sugar (ration) 1 oz 1 oz
Soap 1/2 oz 1/2 oz
Salt 1/2 oz 1/2 oz
  1. Daily rations for prisoners in close confinement half the preceding scale.
  2. Daily rations for prisoners under remand who have been previously convicted, for convicted prisoners not a labour or at light work, and for children over eight years of age of female prisoners.
  Males. Females.
Bread 16 oz 12 oz
Maize or oaten meal 8 oz 6 oz
Meat 8 oz 8 oz
Potatoes 8 oz 8 oz
Salt 1/2 oz 1/2 oz
Soap 1/2 oz 1/2 oz
Sugar (ration) 1 oz 1 oz
  1. Daily rations for prisoners in gaols under remand who have not been previously convicted, the same as those specified in the last preceding regulation, with the addition of 1/4oz. of ration tea and 1 oz. ration sugar.
  2. Daily rations for prisoners in solitary confinement:-
Bread 16 oz
Soap 1/2 oz
  1. Daily rations for children under two years of age of female prisoners:-
Bread 4 oz
Milk 1 quart
Soap 1/2 oz
Sugar (ration) 1 oz
  1. Daily rations for children above two and under eight years of age of female prisoners:-
Bread 8 oz
Meat 4 oz
Milk 1 pint
Soap 1/2 oz
Sugar (ration) 1 oz

General Discipline.

  1. Prisoners will on their admission into any gaol be required to give up any clothing, money, or other valuables they may have in their possession; the articles so given up will be placed in store and returned to the owners on their discharge from gaol, or otherwise disposed of according to law; each prisoner will be strictly searched in the presence of the officer appointed for that purpose, and anything found concealed will be forfeited. Prisoners will then be thoroughly washed, and will be brought before the medical officer for inspection where practicable.
  2. Prisoners will be supplied with Government clothing, which they are not to alter or destroy, and they will be held responsible that it is kept in repair and properly marked.
  3. Prisoners are to rise immediately on the first bell being rung in the morning, make up their bedding neatly and uniformly, and place it in the appointed position; they are not to put on their jackets or neckerchiefs before washing themselves.
  4. As soon as the bedding is made up, the cells are to be swept, and the cells and furniture properly scoured.
  5. Prisoners must keep their persons, cells, and clothing at all times in the highest state of cleanliness, and must invariably have the cell furniture and utensils neatly arranged as directed.
  6. Prisoners must not interfere with their bedding during the day, nor until after evening muster; they must retire to rest for the night as soon as the silence bell rings.
  7. Prisoners must wash their feet twice in the summer and once in winter weekly, during the evenings proceeding that on which they put on clean clothing, and they must bathe once a week, unless exempt by the medical officer.
  8. Prisoners whilst in their cells requiring assistance, or having anything to communicate during the day or night, may knock or ring for the officer on duty, to whom they must state the reason for the summons; but all conversation not strictly necessary must be avoided, an on no account is any such summons to be made needlessly.
  9. Prisoners, on hearing their cell door opening, must at once, if not in bed, stand up in the centre of the cell, facing the door, with their hands by their sides.
  10. Prisoners must preserve strict silence at all musters, at meals, in the dormitories and cells at night, while undergoing solitary confinement, and while marching to and from places of labour, which they must do in regular order, two and two; and any prisoner while at exercise, or in the cells, scratching or writing on posts, rails, walls, or other portions of the gaol, or the fittings or furniture, will be punished.
  11. Prisoners are required promptly to obey all orders they may receive from the officers of the Department. Though they should consider themselves aggrieved by such orders, the must never-the-less obey; but may afterwards complain to the officer in charge or Inspector-General. No complaint on any matter will be taken notice of unless made within one week after the occurrence to which it has reference.
  12. No gaming is permitted, and the officer in charge shall seize and destroy all dice, cars, and other instruments of gaming.
  13. Using improper language, making false statements or false replies to questions either verbally or in writing, gambling, smoking without authority or in any but the place appointed, trafficking, damaging or defacing the wards, cells, fittings, or furniture of the prison, sharpening the spoons as knives, or cutting on the tables, is strictly prohibited, and offenders will be punished for every such offence. No scratching or marking, however slight, on the walls, fittings, or furniture will be permitted.
  14. Prisoners are not to light pieces of paper, rags, or other articles, either in their cells, airing yards, or any other part of the prison, without authority, and they are strictly prohibited from having in their possession tobacco, unless authorized, money, sharp instruments, or any article not issued to them by the prison authorities. Prisoners may be searched at any time.
  15. Should prisoners be dissatisfied with the quantity or quality of their rations, they must complain as soon as the meal has been given to them; no complaint respecting quantity will be attended to afterwards. No rations are to be taken out of the mess-room or cells. Refuse food is not to be thrown or left on the tables or floors, but is to be put into an empty plate or dish provided for the purpose.
  16. At all musters, prisoners are required to be in their places in the ranks promptly; they will be ranked up in double file, with their hands down by their sides, and their feet close together.
  17. Prisoners are not to leave the ranks at muster, or their places of work during labour hours, without permission of the officer in whose charge they may be at the time. Prisoners leaving school or Divine service before being regularly dismissed will have their indulgence deferred, or be otherwise punished.
  18. Prisoners are prohibited from talking, singing, laughing, or making any unnecessary noise; when in their cells they are not to talk, look out at the windows, or stop any of the ventilating apertures without permission.
  19. Prisoners are not to hold or attempt communication (except such as may be necessitated by the work upon which they are employed) either by letters, words, signs, or sounds, with any other prisoner.
  20. All soiled linen and articles of clothing are to be given up, for the purpose of being washed, when asked for, and nothing of the kind is to be washed in the cell without express permission.
  21. All prisoners are to stand up (except when at meals) when any of the principle officers approach them or enter the mess-rooms or yards in which they may be.
  22. The hours of labour, meals, and school will be regulated according to the season of the year: twenty minutes will be allowed for breakfast, half an hour for dinner, and twenty minutes for supper.
  23. Prisoners allowed to work are to be attentive and diligent in performing whatever description of labour may be assigned to them. Prisoners are on no account to be idle during the authorized hours of labour, but must continue to devote themselves actively to their work during the day, and upon the degree of industry and good conduct which they may evince, and of which a record will be kept, will mainly depend the termination of their periods of confinement. Prisoners must, when requisite, apply to the proper officer for instruction as to the manner of performing their work. No conversation is allowed while at labour except such as is necessary for the due performance of the work; any wilful or neglect mismanagement of work will subject the offender to punishment.
  24. Prisoners must be very careful of all Government property entrusted to them in their various occupations; and will be liable to punishment for any careless or improper use of any portion thereof.
  25. Prisoners who are riotous or disorderly, or attempt to move from their allotted place of labour without permission, or attempt to go beyond the prescribed boundary, may, by order of the officer in charge, be placed in chains and confined in a cell until brought before a magistrate; and any prisoner under sentence of imprisonment or detention on public works for any felony or misdemeanour who makes any attempt to escape, and cannot otherwise be prevented from making good such escape, is liable to be shot.
  26. Prisoners, if well conducted, will be allowed to write one letter every three months, on subjects strictly connected with themselves or their families; prisoners desirous of writing, must make application to the officer of their division for the necessary materials on Wednesday afternoon. Prisoners wishing to transfer postage stamps to other prisoners must apply at the office for permission to do so. Prisoners are allowed to receive from their friends one letter every month. Every letter either from or to a prisoner must be perused by the officer in charge, who may withhold the same at his discretion, but shall submit any so withheld for the decision of the Inspector-General. All letters received by prisoners are to be returned when read to the officer of the division, and will be retained until the prisoner’s discharge, or destroyed, as such prisoner may desire.
  27. Every prisoner desirous of seeing the Inspector-General, visiting justice, officer in charge, or chaplain, must apply to the officer of his or her division to have his or her name inserted in a book kept for that purpose. Should, however, any prisoner urgently require to speak to the officer in charge, he may at any time apply to the person in whose immediate care he or she may be. Prisoners are warned against making frivolous or groundless complaints, as for so doing they will be liable to punishment.
  28. Prisoners eligible to apply for indulgent rations will give their names at the office on the Friday morning before the first Saturday of each month.
  29. On the discharge of prisoners their own clothes will be returned to them, unless it has been found necessary to destroy them, in which case they will be provided with clothing.
  30. Each prisoner may request to see his own clothes a few days before the day fixed for his discharge. Should any prisoner then find any cause of compliant with reference to it, he may complain first to the officer in charge, and then, if necessary, to the Inspector-General; but no such complaint will be takes notice of unless made at least one day before the prisoner leaves the establishment.
  31. The relatives and friends of convicted prisoners, except those in the “A” division in the Penal Establishment at Pentridge subject to the mark system, may visit such prisoners, under such restrictions as may be considered necessary by the Inspector-General for the security of the gaol, at intervals of not less than three months.


  1. The hair and whiskers of male prisoners whose sentences do not exceed three months shall be cut if it be considered necessary by the officer in charge; and the hair of those under longer sentences is to be cut close and their whiskers shaved off, and this must be repeated as often as may be necessary until the prisoners attain the fifth class, or are within three months of discharge, when their hair and whiskers may be permitted to grow of a moderate length preparatory to their release from confinement.
  2. Prisoners are at all times during the day to appear properly dressed. Male prisoners, when not at work in the open air, are to wear all their usual garments, the jackets to be unbuttoned, the vests and other articles to be neatly buttoned or tied; in very hot days during the months of December, January, and February, the jackets need not be worn. Hats are not to be worn in any of the buildings. No article of clothing is to be left on the works.
  3. At prayers, all male prisoners are to stand uncovered.
  4. Male prisoners are required to touch their hats when passing or addressing or being passed or addressed by an officer.
  5. Male prisoners will be divided into six classes, according to their sentences and conduct while in prison. The detention in the first class will vary from three to six months for well-conducted prisoners, and may be extended for misconduct to nine months, but will never exceed that period. The time served after emerging from the first until eligible for the fifth class will be apportioned equally between the second, third, and forth classes. The subsequent period of confinement will be divided so that two-thirds will be passed in the fifth and the remaining one-third in the sixth class.
  6. The establishment at Pentridge will consist of three divisions, designated respectively the A, B, and C divisions, and male prisoners confined will be treated as follows, viz,:- Those in the first class will be kept in separate confinement in A division; those in the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth classes will be confined whilst they remain in those classes in B and C divisions; all prisoners having more than 5 years to serve will remain in B division, while those having less will be transferred to C division, as circumstances may admit, or be transferred elsewhere.
  7. Prisoners under sentences not exceeding twelve months will not, and prisoners who have once passed through the above stages will not again, be eligible for the fifth or sixth classes; the periods such prisoners may have to serve after emerging from the first class will be equally divided between the second, third, and fourth classes.
  8. No prisoner will be promoted to the fifth class until he have completed one-half of his allotted period of servitude, and have been one month without offence, and three months without having a charge of an immoral or insubordinate character recorded against him.
  9. Male prisoners, except as provided in the two last preceding regulations, will enter the fifth class when they are within the following periods of discharge, viz.:-
    If sentenced to    
Class of Offenders 4 years + 3 years less 4 1/2 years 2 years less 3 years Between 1 and 2 years
  Months Months Months Months
First convictions. 18 12 8 6
Second and subsequent convictions. 12 8 5 4

and will be allowed a ration of tobacco, and pay at the rate of 2d, for every actual working day’s labour. When promoted to the sixth class, a ration of tea and sugar will be added, and the pay will be increased to 6d, per working day. Prisoners at light labour will be paid one-half the above amounts only. 

  1. Prisoners in the fourth class sentenced to six years and upwards, who are not under the disabilities mentioned in Nos. 51 and 52 of these rules and regulations, whose conduct has been very good, and who have not been sentenced by the visiting justice for any offence for six months then preceding, may, on special recommendation, be placed on the fifth-class ration, with pay at 1d. per diem, at periods varying from six to eighteen months, according to length of sentence, before they would be entitled to enter fifth class. Prisoners at light labour will be paid one-half such amount only.
  2. All money earned by any prisoner shall be allowed to accumulate, and shall be paid to the prisoner earning it on his discharge. No money actually earned shall be forfeited except for absconding, attempting to abscond, or some indictable offence; but pay may be stopped at any time for misconduct, on the recommendation of the visiting justice or officer in charge, approved by the Inspector-General; and will in every case be stopped while a prisoner is undergoing secondary punishment.
  3. A register will be kept, in which each prisoner’s conduct and degree of industry will be recorded, and no prisoner will be removed to a higher class until he has earned the whole number of favourable marks which can be gained in the period allotted him in the class he may be in. All sentences and approved recommendations of the visiting justice or office in charge, as well as periods of absence from labour from any cause, will delay removal, and ultimately retard the prisoners discharge.
  4. No prisoner will be permitted to hold any petty office in the Penal Establishment at Pentridge until he have attained the third class, without authority in writing of the Inspector-General first obtained.
  5. Every prisoner at Pentridge after emerging from the first class will wear on the right sleeve of his jacket a badge, painted white for first, and red for second convicted men, showing the class to which he belongs.


  1. Female prisoners are required to wear their back hair divided from the front, and coiled up in a knot at the back of the head, the front hair to be parted down the centre and worn off the face. The hair of a female prisoner may be cut on account of the vermin or dirt, or when the medical officer deems it requisite on the ground of health.
  2. Prisoners are at all times during the day to appear properly dressed. Female prisoners to wear the neckerchief on the neck and the jacket tied down by the apron strings.
  3. Prisoners children twelve months old are to be weaned, and will be taken from their mothers and removed from the prison, or placed in charge of persons appointed for the purpose, except in the case of a child under medical treatment, when, should it be deemed necessary for its health, it may be allowed to remain with the mother.
  4. Female prisoners will be allowed to retain such portions of their private clothing as the principle female officer may consider necessary.

Separate Confinement.

  1. Every first-convicted prisoner sentenced to a term of imprisonment in any gaol not exceeding six months, either with or without hard labour, or either with or without the option of paying a fine, shall, subject to the next following regulation, be kept in separate confinement while undergoing such imprisonment.
  2. When any such first-convicted prisoner is undergoing such imprisonment, the medical officer or the Inspector-General may from time to time order that such prisoner shall not be separately confined, or shall be separately confined for a certain limited time or times only; and such medical officer shall, within seven days after making of any order as aforesaid, report in writing, stating his reasons for making such order, to the Inspector-General and the Inspector-General shall forthwith transmit the same for the information of the Chief Secretary for the time being.

Separation of Prisoners.

  1. In all cases where practicable, every prisoner shall occupy a cell by himself or herself by day and by night (except where otherwise directed). If for medical reasons or other special circumstances it is necessary for prisoners to be associated, not fewer than three prisoners may be located in one cell, in which each shall be supplied with a separate bed.
  2. Every prisoner sentenced to a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years, either with or without hard labour, or either with or without the option of paying a fine, shall, on reception into gaol, pass in separate confinement such portion of his or her sentence as may be ordered by the Inspector-General, and shall subsequently be eligible for employment; and any such prisoner whilst undergoing punishment inflicted for any offence committed whilst undergoing sentence shall be liable to be returned to separate confinement for such further period as may be ordered by the Inspector-General.
  3. Prisoners sentenced to a term of imprisonment exceeding two years and upwards, either with or without hard labour, or either with or without the option of paying a fine, and having undergone a term of separate confinement, shall, whilst undergoing punishment inflicted for any offence committed whilst undergoing sentence, be liable to be returned to separate confinement for such further term, not exceeding six months at any one time, as may be ordered by the Inspector-General.
  4. Every prisoner whilst under separate treatment or in solitary confinement or close confinement is to receive exercise for one hour, and youths two hours daily, weather permitting; and should the medical officer deem it necessary for the preservation of health a longer period allowed.

Employment of Prisoners and Hours of Labour.

  1. Every prisoner liable to work, whether in separate confinement or not, shall be employed – unless prevented by sickness and exempted by the medical officer – in such work as the gaoler, with the approval of the Inspector-General, appoints.
  2. The hours of labour shall average not less than eight hours per working day, during the whole year, exclusive of time allowed for meals.
  3. Any stores and supplies required by the public, or for the Public Service of the colony, may, if found advantageous and practicable, be manufactured by prisoners. Heads of departments may obtain such supplies from the Penal Department, provided the Inspector-General is in a position to furnish them within the period named by the department requiring the same. Orders for such supplies are to be addressed direct to the Inspector-General.
  4. No pecuniary benefit is to accrue to any department from its obtaining supplies of articles manufactured by prisoners. Each department will be charged for such supplies the full value of the articles, fixed in the Penal Department Price List, as approved of by the Chief Secretary and published in the Government Gazette for the year, or such amounts as may be specially agreed upon, and the difference between the cost of the raw material used and the price charged will be carried to the credit of the General Revenue, as the proceeds of the labour of prisoners.
  5. Any articles of uniform, clothing, and accoutrements, which the members of the Penal Department, the police force, or of the service generally have to supply for themselves at their own expense, may be made by prisoners, and the payment provided for in such manner as the internal arrangements and regulations of those departments may from time to time authorize.
  6. Prisoners may be employed in the performance of such private work as the officers and warders of the Penal Department may require for their own personal and household necessities only, and such work must be paid for at the rates fixed in the Penal Department Price List each year, or, if no such rates have been so fixed, then at rates to be fixed by the Inspector-General, and the amounts received for such work shall be disposed of in the manner provided by the regulations as to revenue. Except as herein provided, no work is to be performed by prisoners for the private benefit of the offices and men of the various gaols or of the department generally.
  7. No work shall be done for, or supplies furnished to, persons unconnected with the Penal Department without the approval of the Inspector-General.
  8. When the arrangements of the Penal Department will allow of it without inconvenience, prisoners may be employed outside gaols on public works, on such conditions and at such rate of payment as may be agreed upon by the Inspector-General and the municipal council or other public body constructing such public works; but no prisoners shall be employed on such works until the approval of the Chief Secretary has been obtained.
  9. No work, other than that required by the Penal Department, shall be executed by prisoners unless paid for by the department, public body, or person receiving the benefit thereof.
  10. The Inspector-General may sell by public auction, or dispose of in such other manner as he may consider most advantageous, any stone, broken metal, agricultural produce, or stock, and surplus articles manufactured in the department, which cannot be utilized and shall appropriate the proceeds thereof in the manner provided by the regulations as to revenue.
  11. A separate account shall be kept of each of the manufacturing branches, showing the cost of the material, the value of the labour, and the amount of the prisoners’ earnings.
  12. All accounts for moneys due for goods and labour supplied by the Penal Department are to be rendered to the Government department, public body, or person indebted, as soon as convenient after the execution of the order, and in the case of works of public utility monthly progress payments to be made for work done, but the Inspector-General may require payment before any order is executed.
  13. The head of any Government department, on receiving from the Inspector-General a claim for supplies obtained from the Penal Department, will forward the same in the usual manner to the Treasurer, who will pay the amount to the Inspector-General and debit the same department concerned, and the Inspector-General on receipt of such amount will pay into the Treasury the proportion due under the head of “Prison Labour,” to be credited to the General Revenue, and the remainder under the head of “Repayment to Stores” to be credited to the vote for Contingencies for Penal Establishments against which the materials have been charged.
  14. No additions, alterations, or repairs for the Penal Department, such as in other branches of the service would be executed by the Department of Public Works, shall be undertaken by prisoners, unless of an urgent character, until the same have been approved of by the Inspector-General.
  15. Materials required in the Penal Department for manufacturing purposes are to be purchased or obtained under the same regulations and conditions as control similar transactions in the departments of the service, and requisitions for such materials may be submitted from time to time for the approval of the Chief Secretary.
  16. The cost of the materials furnished to the department will be charged to the item “Stores” in the vote for Contingencies for Penal Establishments.

Photographing and Description of Prisoners.

  1. Each prisoner shall, at the time of his reception into any gaol, be photographed, if the Inspector-General so directs; and every prisoner shall at any time whilst he is in custody in any gaol be photographed if the Inspector-General so directs.
  2. No copy of any photograph of a prisoner taken under these Rules and Regulations shall be given or sold to any person or persons other than those whose public duty it may be to receive and use it for the purpose of identification.
  3. The name, age, height, weight, a description of the features and of the particular marks and general appearance of each prisoner, together with such other particulars with respect to prisoners as it may be thought desirable to record, shall, at the time of reception of each prisoner into gaol, and from time to time during the period he remains in custody in any gaol, be taken down in writing, and recorded in such manner as may be directed by the Inspector-General.

Termination and Remission of Sentences.

  1. Remissions of sentences will be granted to prisoners convicted after the 31st day of March, 1876, on the following conditions, viz.:-
    1. To prisoners under sentences amounting to six months and less than two years, when they have completed seven-eighths of their sentences, if their conduct and industry are favourably reported on by their officers. Provided, however, that the period of imprisonment actually to be undergone shall be increased by the term of all punishments for offences committed whilst undergoing sentence and by the amount of time during which the prisoner has been absent from hard labour. In the case of continued misconduct, prisoners will forfeit all claim to such remissions.
    2. To prisoners under sentences of two years and upwards, when they have completed not less than three-fourths of their sentences in accordance with the number of marks allotted them for industry and good conduct, as follows:-
      1. Every sentence will be reduced to a certain number of marks; nine of which marks will represent an ordinary day, three for labour, three for conduct while at work, and three for conduct beyond labour hours. If a prisoner behaves well and works fairly he will be given nine marks. If not, the number of marks may be reduced by one-third; and if his conduct be very good and he works willingly and well, the number may be increased by one-third.
      2. Such prisoners will be divided into six classes, and the period to be served in each class will be represented by a stated number of marks.
  • Those in the first class will serve from three to six months in separate confinement, according to the length of their sentences. No marks will be given to prisoners in that class beyond the fixed daily number. The above period may for misconduct be increased to any term not exceeding nine months.
  1. The marks a prisoner may earn after conviction before being placed in separate confinement as prescribed for the class will be allowed in reduction of the number to be earned in the second class.
  2. If any such prisoner on his release from separate confinement has not earned a sufficient number of marks to give him an average of nine for each day during which he has been in separate confinement, he shall be required after such release and before promotion to the second class to earn a sufficient number of marks to complete such average. The marks allowed for any period in hospital, before emerging from the first class, are not to be counted as for service in that class, but are to be carried forward and credited to the second class.
  3. The number of marks to be earned after promotion to the second, and before entering the fourth class, will be equally divided between the second and third, and prisoners in these classes will work in association, but be lodged separately. Prisoners in the remaining classes, if eligible for public works at out-stations, will be allowed a ration of tobacco, or its equivalent in money; and if the fourth class and at hard labour a gratuity at the rate of One penny for every nine marks gained on days they may be actually at work; and if in the fifth class and at hard labour the gratuity will be increased to Twopence; and if in the sixth class and at hard labour to Fourpence, with a ration of tea and sugar in addition. If not so eligible, or if at light labour or sentenced to imprisonment only, prisoners will be allowed the same indulgent ration but only one-half the gratuities, except when specially recommended by the labour officers for attention to work, in which case the amounts may be increased to three-fourths. Females however, will not be employed at outdoor labour, will not be allowed tobacco, nor more than one-half the gratuities allowed to males.
  • Such prisoners, if under sentences of eight years or less, will be eligible for the fourth class when they have gained a number of marks sufficient to represent one-half of their sentences. Prisoners under longer terms will be eligible for the fourth class when they have arrived at the period of four years from the probable date of their discharge, as ascertained by the number of marks they have obtained. The marks to be earned in the fourth, fifth, and sixth classes will be allotted in the proportion of one-half to the fourth, one-third to the fifth, and one-sixth to the sixth respectively.
  • Such prisoners will not be allowed any marks or other indulgences whilst undergoing punishment inflicted for any offence committed whilst undergoing sentence, and will on Sundays and holidays receive marks for conduct only. While in hospital they may, if well conducted, be credited with nine marks on working days and six on Sundays; and if at light labour, or sentenced to imprisonment only, will, for work, be credited with not more than two marks per working day.
  1. No prisoner who has had the opportunity of attending school for the period of nine months will be promoted to the fifth class until he can read fluently in the second reading book; if for or a period of eighteen months, until he can read well in the third book, write fairly from print, and work sums readily as far as simple long division; and if for a period of three years, unless he has attained the standard of the fourth class in reading, writing and arithmetic, according to the present school programme at the Penal Establishment, Pentridge; but such disqualification shall not operate so as to retard liberation.
  2. Prisoners who may have previously undergone sentences which were not considered by the court at the time they were last convicted will only be allowed three marks per diem for conduct beyond labour hours.
  3. The promotion of prisoners from one class to another, and their liberation from prison, will entirely depend on the number of marks they may earn; they will never be promoted until they have gained the full number fixed for each class. Should they misconduct themselves after gaining the fourth class, they will be reduced to the third, until by conduct deserving again of promotion.
  1. No gratuity to the credit of a prisoner will be forfeited except for absconding, attempting to abscond, or committing some other indictable offence. All moneys accrued to prisoners on discharge will be handed over for their benefit to the Victorian Discharged Prisoners Aid Society.
  2. Prisoners who have once passed through the system of discipline applicable to them will not during any subsequent sentence be allowed gratuities; but they may apply to remain and work on pay for a period graduated by the length of their sentences, but not exceeding in the whole sixteen working days.
  3. Prisoners convicted after the 1st day of November, 1886, and sentenced to two years or upwards, will not be allowed the indulgences provided by sub-section (vi) of the second portion of regulation No.88, if they have received similar indulgences when undergoing any previous sentence.
  4. Prisoners convicted before the 1st August, 1873, will be dealt with under the rules and regulations in force at the time of their respective convictions provided, however, that for former convictions alone the minimum period of service for such prisoners shall in no case be extended by more than one-fourth.
  5. The sentences of prisoners commuted to imprisonment for life shall be considered as equal in duration to the expectation of life of each prisoner at the time of conviction, according to the actuaries’ tables known as the “Carlisle Expectation,” here set out, omitting, in favour of the prisoner, fractional portions of a year in each case:-
Age Expectation Age Expectation Age Expectation Age Expectation
20 41.46 30 34.34 40 27.61 50 21.11
21 40.75 31 33.68 41 26.97 51 20.39
22 40.04 32 33.03 42 26.34 52 19.68
23 39.31 33 32.36 43 25.71 53 18.97
24 38.59 34 31.68 44 25.09 54 18.29
25 37.86 35 31.00 45 24.46 55 17.58
26 37.14 36 30.32 46 23.82 56 16.89
27 36.41 37 29.64 47 23.17 57 16.21
28 35.69 38 28.96 48 22.50 58 15.55
29 35.00 39 28.28 49 21.81 59 14.92
  1. All prisoners under such commuted sentences shall be dealt with under such of these rules and regulations as relate to remission of sentences, with a limitation that any prisoner whose conduct has been uniformly good may be liberated when he has actually served twenty years’ imprisonment.
  2. Remissions of sentence will be granted to persons hereafter described who may be imprisoned after the date hereof, on the following conditions, viz:-

To persons who may be imprisoned for terms amounting to six months and upwards, in default of finding sureties to keep the peace, or to be of good behaviour, or for non-payment of any sum of money imposed as a penalty or forfeiture, provided such persons have completed seven-eighths of their sentences, and provided their gaoler certifies to their good conduct and industry.

  1. A prisoner who is unable, but not unwilling, to perform hard labour, or who is under medical treatment in the hospital, may receive marks according to the circumstances of the case.
  2. A prisoner undergoing sentence of two years and upwards shall be entitled to every privilege allotted to his class, unless he forfeit the same misconduct, or unless his removal to any other part of the prison be considered necessary by the Inspector-General for his safe custody or the preservation of the discipline of the prison.
  3. Whenever a prisoner is under these rules and regulations entitled to have a portion of his current sentence of imprisonment remitted, and such current sentence is for an offence committed by such prisoner whilst at large during the remitted portion of a previous sentence, an amount of time equal to the remitted portion of such previous sentence shall be deducted from the amount of time remitted from the current sentence. If the remitted portion of such previous sentence is greater than the amount of time to be remitted from the current sentence, then the prisoner shall not be entitled to have any portion of the current sentence remitted. Provided that where the current sentence is for a period less than two years, and the previous sentence was for a period of two years or upwards, this regulation shall not apply. Provided also that in cases of exceptional good conduct the Inspector-General may at any time except any prisoner wholly or partly from the operation of this regulation.
  4. Prisoners under sentences exceeding eight years, and under twenty years, will be eligible for the fourth class when they have arrived at the period of five years from the probable date of their discharge, ascertained according to these rules and regulations.
  5. Prisoners under sentences of twenty years and upwards will be eligible for the fourth class when they have arrived at the period of seven years from the probable date of their discharge, ascertained as aforesaid.

Gratuities on Discharge of Prisoners.

  1. Notwithstanding anything contained in any rules and regulations by which prisoners of the Crown receive on discharge payments or gratuities from the State, the Inspector-General may pay to the Victorian Discharged Prisoners’ Aid Society all money which may be due or payable to any prisoners on discharge under any of such rules and regulation who may give an order in writing to that effect, and the receipt of the treasurer or collector of such society shall be a full and sufficient discharge to the Inspector-General for all moneys paid by him to the said society.
  2. Any prisoners confined in a gaol who may be entitled to discharge and may be destitute of funds may remain and labour in such gaol for any period not exceeding sixteen working days after the time at which he or she may be entitled to liberation, and may be paid on discharge for each such working day’s labour the sum of 2s. 6d., provided that out of the sum thus accruing to any prisoner the Inspector-General may pay the fare of such prisoner by railway or otherwise to his or her place of destination.
  3. To meet such payments, advances will be made to the Inspector-General, under the 26th section of the Financial Regulations of the 7th December, 1857.
  4. Every prisoner so remaining shall be subject to all the regulations, rules, orders, and customs in operation in such gaol, and, if a person whose sentence has expired, shall be liable for any breach of such regulations, rules, orders, and customs, to be summarily ejected from the gaol, and to forfeit the sum or such portion thereof as may be determined by the Inspector-General earned under these regulations.
  5. Every prisoner desirous of being permitted to remain as aforesaid, shall sign a document in the following form, viz:-

I hereby request permission to remain and work at the gaol at                     for a period of                   days, and agree to abide by all the rules, regulations, orders, and customs now in operation there, and to waive all right of action for detention or otherwise.

Dated this                            day of                    188                                         (Signature)


  1. No prisoner is to petition the Executive Government in respect to his conviction unless he can adduce some material and well-supported fact in his favour which he was unable to bring forward at his trial.
  2. A prisoner having once petitioned, and had his case dealt with, is not again to petition the Government unless some new matter, having an important bearing on his case, has come to his knowledge subsequent to the decision on his former application.


  1. In all cases where practicable, convenient and suitable apartments shall be appropriated and set apart as an hospital for the reception and medical treatment of sick and diseased prisoners of each sex separately.


  1. The Library is for the use and instruction of all prisoners and shall consist of three principle divisions – General, Religious, and School.
  2. The schoolmaster at Pentridge shall be the officer in charge of the Library, and the depot of the Library shall be at the Penal Establishment, Pentridge. The branches established in other gaols are also to be in charge of responsible officers.
  3. All books of general utility suitable for circulation in gaols, and all school books, are to be selected and purchased by the schoolmaster, subject to the approval of the Inspector-General. Religious books are to be selected and purchased by the chaplains connected with the Penal Establishment, Pentridge. Religious books are to be catalogued in two divisions- “Protestant” and “Roman Catholic,” and labelled on the backs “P.” and “R.” respectively.
  4. Except with the special sanction of the Inspector-General, no other books are to be introduced into any gaol.
  5. It will be the duty of the schoolmaster at Pentridge to keep the Library in an efficient condition, ready at all times to meet any legitimate demands made upon it from the branches in the other gaols. The officer in charge of the Branch Library in each other gaol will be required to see that the books in his branch are circulated in accordance with these rules and regulations, and that they ae kept in good order and condition.
  6. The gaoler in each gaol will furnish a quarterly return, in a form to be prescribed by the Inspector-General, containing such particulars as may be required concerning the books in the Branch Library in the gaol, and will, in addition, personally inspect such Branch Library at least once a quarter, and see that all books out of repair are forwarded with the return to the depot at Pentridge.
  7. The schoolmaster at Pentridge will check such quarterly returns, and be responsible that the books returned to the depot out of repair are dealt with in the most efficient manner possible. He will forward these returns with his report to the Inspector-General.
  8. The following record books are to be kept in connexion with the Branch Library in each of the gaols:-
    1. An issue book, in which there shall be inserted a memorandum, showing the name of each book issued, of the person to whom it is issued, and the dates of such issue.
    2. A numerical catalogue, to contain – 1st, letter and number of book; 2nd, title; 3rd, authors name (if possible), and remarks.
    3. An alphabetical catalogue, containing the same information as in the numerical.
    4. One or more small catalogues, with the books classified under suitable headings, i.e., Periodicals, History, Protestant Religious, Roman Catholic Religious, &c. The catalogues are to be made for use in the cells, to enable prisoners to become acquainted with the books at their disposal, and to assist them in selecting the books they desire to read.
  9. Before any Library book is issued it must be stamped throughout with the Departmental stamp, and on the inside of the cover there shall be pasted a label bearing the following words, viz.:-
    1. Each prisoner will have an opportunity afforded him of obtaining a book once a week.
    2. Prisoners will be required to return books issued to them at the expiration of seven days from such issue; but an extended period for perusal may be obtained on application to the officer in charge of the Library if the book asked for is available.
    3. Prisoners are strictly prohibited from exchanging books one with another.
    4. Prisoners will be held responsible for the preservation of the books issued to them, and, on receipt, must examine them and point out any defects.
    5. Prisoners, before leaving the establishment, must return all books issued to them to the librarian. N.B. – Exceptions to the above will obtain in the following cases:-
    6. Prisoners awaiting trial may be permitted to change Library books oftener than once a week, if necessary.
    7. Prisoners not convicted of crime may also be permitted to change books oftener than once a week, if desirable.
    8. Prisoners whose sentences do not exceed seven days will not be allowed to obtain books from the Library.
    9. Books selected for special purposes from the Religious Library by the chaplains are, as soon as possible, to be issued to the prisoners for whom they were selected.
  10. Books are not to be issued to prisoners who damage or deface them, or are likely to do so.
  11. It will be the duty of the gaoler in each gaol to have all prisoners in his custody supplied with devotional books of their denomination-

Episcopalians: Bible, Prayer Book and Hymn Book each;

Roman Catholics: Bible and Prayer Book each;

Presbyterians and Wesleyans: Bible and Hymn Book each.

The officer in charge of a Branch Library will be required specially to see that these books are issued in good condition, and that they are kept so. A label, in the following form, is to be inserted in all books issued under this regulation:- H.M. Gaol,

This book is to be retained by the prisoner to whom issued until he leaves the establishment. He will be held responsible for its preservation.

  1. The issue of books to prisoners undergoing “separate treatment” or “solitary confinement” will be regulated by the rules and regulations relating to such classes of prisoners.

Instruction of Prisoners.

  1. Prisoners under twenty-five years of age, and any others when directed to attend by order of the Inspector-General, who cannot pass an examination in class four of the programme of instruction, will be required to attend school.
  2. The programme of instruction is as follows:-

No.1 Class – Read in “First Book.”

                Write, form, and join letters.

                Cipher – Addition and subtraction.

No.2 Class – Read in “Second Book.”

                Write round, text, and small hand.

                Cipher in the first four common rules.

No.3 Class – Read in “Third Book.”

                Write a copy in manuscript from print.

                Cipher in any of the compound rules.

No.4 Class – Read in any ordinary book.

                Write from dictation.

                Cipher as far as practice.

  1. While at school, prisoners will be under the control and direction of the schoolmaster, who will select and place over the classes suitable monitors, to whose instructions prisoners are required to attend; and no prisoner is on any pretence to leave the class to which he belongs without permission.
  2. The monitors will perform their duties in accordance with the regulations laid down by the schoolmaster for their guidance; they are expected to give their best attention to the instruction of the prisoners placed with them; they must not allow any deviation from the course of lessons prescribed; they are not permitted to sit down during school hours; and they are held responsible for the school material issued to them for the use of their classes. They will be allowed credit, if favourably reported on by the schoolmaster, to an extent not exceeding one mark per day for every day employed.
  3. Talking will not be permitted while prisoners are in school, excepting with the monitors, and then only so far as may be necessary for receiving and imparting instruction.
  4. If any prisoner infringe any of the rules and regulations relating to the instruction of prisoners he will be reported, and all such unfavourable reports will be noticed when removal to a higher class is taken into consideration.
  5. When it is necessary to keep a prisoner altogether apart from other prisoners, instruction may be given in the cell. For this purpose each pupil will have supplied to him two slates, a reading book, and an arithmetic.
  6. The instructor will be required to pay a visit daily to every prisoner under instruction. The time allotted will, of course, depend upon the necessities of each case; but will generally range from five to fifteen minutes.
  7. The instructor will arrange to give pupils lessons to occupy their time when not at work, i.e., during the second half of the dinner hour, but especially during the interval of time between “Lock-up” and the ringing of the silence bell.
  8. Prisoners whose educational attainments are above Class 4 of the programme of instruction are to be visited, advised, and assisted, as may, at the discretion of the instructor, be deemed desirable.

Ministers of Religion.

  1. Prisoners may at all proper times and seasons receive spiritual consolation according to faith they profess, and as they desire to have administered to them by the chaplains, under such restrictions imposed by the Inspector-General as shall guard against the introduction of improper persons and as shall prevent improper communications.
  2. All prisoners shall attend Divine service on Sundays and recognised Holy days as often as thereunto required by the ministers of religion, but such attendance shall not interfere with the discipline of the gaol.


  1. Visitors wishing to inspect the penal establishment at Pentridge, or the Melbourne Gaol, will be admitted only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, between the hours of one and three o’clock, and only upon the written order of the Chief Secretary of the Inspector-General.
  2. Visitors wishing to inspect country gaols will be admitted at reasonable hours on any working day at the discretion of the various gaolers.
  3. Parties of persons visiting any gaol are not to exceed six in number; not more than three such parties will be allowed to visit any gaol in any one day.
  4. Visits by relatives and friends of prisoners, must always be made in the presence of an officer, and no prisoner shall be allowed, under any circumstances, to speak to or to hold any communication with visitors or strangers without the authority of the officer in charge.
  5. Members of the legal profession may, subject to these regulations, see their clients, in private if required, but convicted prisoners can only be seen on an order of the Inspector-General and in the presence of an officer.
  6. The relatives, friends, or legal advisers of prisoners are not to leave with such prisoners any written or printed letter or paper, or other communication, without the sanction of the Inspector-General; neither will they be allowed to obtain the signatures of such prisoners or persons to any document without such sanction.
  7. In case of the sickness of a prisoner, or of other special circumstances, the gaoler may allow the relatives or friends of such prisoner to visit them at other times than as herein provided, on an order from the Inspector-General.
  8. The gaoler may demand the name and address of any visitor, and, if he deem it necessary, he may refuse such visitor admission unless such visitor submit to be searched.
  9. A book is to be kept by the gaoler in which the names of visitors shall be entered by the visitors themselves, or, in case of refusal, by the attending officer.
  10. If any visitor misbehave, or act improperly, the gaoler may compel such visitor to at one leave the gaol, and may refuse such visitor admission till the facts have been duly reported to (if necessary) and decided upon by the Inspector-General.
  11. Every person claiming admission as a legal adviser must be a barrister-at-law, attorney, solicitor, or authorized clerk of an attorney or solicitor.

Prohibited Articles.

  1. No spirituous liquors, wine, or fermented liquors, or tobacco (except for the purpose of being supplied to such persons as may under these rules and regulations be entitled and who require to be supplied with the same) are to be admitted into any gaol except by written order from the medical officer or of the Inspector-General.

Visiting Justices.

  1. It will be the duty of the visiting justices to see all prisoners confined in the gaols for which they may be appointed to act at least once in every month, at such times as may least interfere with the labour and discipline at the gaol; but such inspection is not in any way to deprive prisoners of any right existing immediately before the making of these rules and regulations of prisoners to communicate at other times with the visiting justices.

Application of Rules and Regulations in Division Two.

  1. The foregoing rules and regulations in this Division (Two) shall apply to all prisoners, except where the application of the same is expressly limited to any particular description or class of prisoners, or where the same are inconsistent with any rules or regulations applying specially to any particular description or class of prisoners.


  1. The tails of hair usually worn by Chinese shall be cut off only in cases where a Chinese prisoner may be convicted of felony after having previously undergone a sentence for some criminal offence, or when specially recommended by the medical officer.


  1. Prisoners under sentence of death shall be kept in the condemned cells until the sentence be executed or commuted, and shall dressed in prison clothing, and shall never be left without a warder, or other attendant, detailed for the duty of attending or controlling them. If males, they shall be kept in irons, and the hair cut close.
  2. Their relatives, friends, or legal advisers shall have access to them at all seasonable hours, at the discretion of the gaoler, unless countermanded by the Sheriff, but shall not come into actual contact with them under any circumstances. An officer of the gaol will remain in attendance during the visit, but no other visitors, unless by special order of the Sheriff or Inspector-General, shall be admitted to see them except the clergyman of the church to which the prisoner professes to belong; but no visitors, whether relatives, friends, clergy, legal advisors, or others, shall be allowed to see a prisoner under sentence of death without his consent to see them being first obtained.
  3. They shall be allowed better food than the prison diet, and such indulgences only as tea and tobacco, subject to the approval of the Sheriff and Inspector-General; they shall not be allowed to receive anything whatever from anyone but the gaol authorities. They shall be allowed daily exercise in one of the prison yards.
  4. Visitors must not say anything to or in the hearing of the prisoner that may or can directly or indirectly lead him or her to think that there is any possibility of the sentence being commuted or in anywise altered.
  5. No communication whatever, either written or verbal, shall be conveyed by a visitor to or from a prisoner condemned to death from or to any person outside the gaol except through the Sheriff or Inspector-General. In no case shall any statement of importance communicated by the condemned to a visitor or the attendant, whether relative to his or her own particular case or otherwise, be published or made known unless it be considered of sufficient importance to require consideration at the hands of the Government, in which case it shall be transmitted to the Sheriff by the gaoler, who will at one forward it to the Chief Secretary for his consideration.
  6. These rules and regulations shall be shown to persons visiting the prisoner, and a strict compliance with them will be the condition on which they will be allowed to visit.
  7. Every person claiming admission as a legal adviser must be a barrister-at-law, attorney, or solicitor, or authorized clerk of an attorney or solicitor.


  1. Every article on a prisoners’ person on admission shall be taken from him or her, and an inventory of all money and other valuable effects which the prisoner may have on admission, or which may from time to time be sent to the prison, shall be entered in a book kept for that purpose, and given to the prisoner on his or her discharge, except where it is ascertained to belong to some other person, or is ordered to be forfeited to the Crown; and in the event of removal to some other place of confinement, such money or other property shall be forwarded along with the prisoner.
  2. All prisoners shall, upon their first admission into any prison, be thoroughly washed and cleansed, and, where practicable, examined by the medical officer. Prisoners awaiting trial shall not be required to take a bath on reception, if, on the application of the prisoner, the governor of the gaol shall decide that it is unnecessary, or the medical officer shall state that it is for medical reasons unadvisable.
  3. Prisoners awaiting trial shall be kept separate and apart from convicted prisoners at all times, and previously unconvicted prisoners awaiting trial shall be kept apart from prisoners awaiting trial who have been previously convicted.
  4. The confinement of all prisoners, who are merely detained for safe custody in prison, shall be made as little oppressive as possible, due regard only being had to their safe keeping, to the necessity of preserving order and good government in the prison in which they are confined, and to the physical and moral wellbeing of the prisoners themselves.
  5. They shall be allowed as much air and exercise as may be deemed proper (consistent with their safe custody) for the preservation of health. And for such purpose separate yards shall be allotted for the aforesaid classes respectively, as circumstances will admit.
  6. Prisoners before trial or not convicted of a crime may, if they desire it, wear the prison dress, and they shall be required to do so if their own clothes are insufficient or unfit for use; or necessary to be preserved for the purpose of justice. The prison dress of prisoners before trial shall be of a different colour from that of convicted prisoners.
  7. Prisoners awaiting trial, or not convicted of a crime, may send and receive letters at reasonable times, and the gaoler may withhold any letters to or from a prisoner and lay such letter before the Inspector-General for his decision.
  8. Such prisoners shall not be compelled either to have their hair cut or (if a male and usually wearing his beard, &c.), to shave, except on account of vermin or dirt, or when the medical officer deems it necessary on the ground of health and cleanliness, and the hair of such prisoners shall not be cut closer than may be necessary for the purpose of health and cleanliness.
  9. The beds of such prisoners shall be made, and the cells, wards, and yards in their occupation shall be swept and cleaned, every morning, and the furniture and utensils appropriated to their use shall be kept clean and neatly arranged by such prisoners themselves, unless otherwise ordered.
  10. Prisoners who have by law the privilege of maintaining themselves must do so entirely or not at all. Such maintenance to consist of a sufficient quantity of wholesome food and clothing, and shall be subject to such restrictions as may be necessary to restrain extravagance, or improper indulgence while in prison, and to prevent the admission of spirituous liquors, wine, or fermented liquors, or the introduction of any improper article or instrument calculated to facilitate escape. And any food, clothing, or other necessaries so procured may be paid out of the funds belonging to the prisoner and in the hands of the gaoler.
  11. No part of such clothing, food, or other necessaries shall be sold or transferred to any other prisoner, and any prisoner transgressing this regulation shall be prevented from obtaining any food or other necessaries for such time as the gaoler may think proper.
  12. No money shall be stopped from the funds belonging to any prisoner for maintenance by the State, unless legally ordered to be so applied.
  13. The relatives, friends, or legal advisers of prisoners remanded for re-examination or committed for trial may see such persons, at reasonable hours, twice a week at the discretion of the gaoler, or oftener by orders from either the committing magistrate, the Sheriff, Inspector-General, or a visiting justice, unless the gaoler has a sufficient reason for not admitting such relative, friend or legal adviser. In such case, an intimation of the reason for not allowing the interview must be forwarded forthwith to the Inspector-General.
  14. The relatives, friends, and legal advisers of prisoners who may be detained in default of finding sureties to keep the peace, or to be of good behaviour, or on affiliation orders, or for contempt of court, or on maintenance orders, or detained for safe custody only, may see such persons at reasonable hours once a week at the discretion of the gaoler.


  1. Debtors will be required to rise on the gaol bell ringing in the morning, and to have their bedding neatly folded up and be in readiness to leave their dormitories for the day-room or airing-yard within half an hour of that time. From 1st October to 31st March the bell will ring at 5.40a.m.; from 1st to 30th April, at 6.10 a.m.; from 1st May to 31st August, at 6.40 a.m.; and from 1st to 30th September, at 6.10 a.m.
  2. Visitors will be permitted to see debtors in their day-room or in the airing-yard from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., and not at any other time without a special order from the Sheriff, except on Sundays, Good Fridays, and Christmas Days, when they will only be admitted from 2 to 4 p.m.
  3. Not more than a limited number of friends, say two or three, will be allowed to visit debtors on the same day; but if more than three should desire to do so, they must get an order from the Sheriff or the gaoler, and such order will be issued only on some special and good reason being shown.
  4. Debtors and their visitors will at all times be required to conduct themselves in a quiet, orderly, and respectful manner towards officers of the prison, and to each other; and any breach of this rule will subject the offender, if a visitor, to be denied admission on any future occasion, and, if a debtor, he may be brought before the visiting justice, who may, on conviction, deprive the offending debtor of the privilege of seeing his friends or of supplying himself with provisions for such time as such visiting justice may think proper; and for any more serious offence against the discipline of the gaol, or for any disturbance or insubordination or for any misconduct or assault either against an office or fellow debtor or other person, or for any wanton injury to the gaol or to any part of the furniture or other Government property therein, such visiting justice may order that any debtor guilty of any such offence shall be deprived of all privileges, with regard to visitors and supply of food, he would otherwise be entitled to under these regulations, and may order the offender to be removed from the debtors’ ward or room, and confined in a solitary cell on bread and water for any period not exceeding thirty days.
  5. Debtors shall be allowed the use, in moderation, of tobacco, and of spirituous liquors, wine, or fermented liquors, the same to be supplied at the cost of the person requiring it; they shall also be allowed the privilege of having their own food supplied to them, providing it is brought to the gaol in a cooked state; but no cooking will be allowed in their wards or rooms, and the privilege will be subject to such restrictions as the Sheriff or gaoler may think fit to impose, to prevent the introduction of any forbidden article, or the excessive supply of spirituous liquors, wine, fermented liquors, or tobacco. Debtors receiving the gaol rations will not be allowed to purchase or receive any additional refreshments, but must confine themselves solely to the rations supplied by the Government.
  6. The wearing apparel of any debtor shall, on admission to the gaol, be fumigated and purified, if the gaoler considers it necessary, and afterwards returned to him.
  7. Debtors will be locked up for the night at the undermentioned hours throughout the year, viz.:- From 1st May to 31st August, at 5 p.m.; from 1st to 30th September, at 5.30 p.m.; and from 1st October to 31st March, at 6 p.m.

The Government light will be kept burning until 9 p.m., after which no other light will be allowed.



  1. All municipal and other local guards over prisoners, and all temporary officers, must be appointed by the Governor in Council and paid through the department. Such municipal and local guards and temporary officers are subject to these rules and regulations.
  2. All officers must make themselves thoroughly acquainted with these rules and regulations, and must conform to and carry out the same implicitly, as well as all instructions which may be issued from time to time for their guidance by the Inspector-General or other their superior officer.
  3. An order-book shall be kept at each gaol, in which all orders and instructions (except those of a temporary or unimportant character) shall be entered at length. Each entry must be sent to, and initialled when read by, the officers concerned. The order book is to be accessible at all times to the officers generally.
  4. So far as their respective duties extend, officers must take care that all rules and regulations, orders, and instructions are strictly carried out; and must not fail, either from favour, or mistaken notions of kindness, or on any other pretence, to report without delay, through the proper officer, for the information of the gaoler or Inspector-General, any instance of neglect, disobedience, or other misconduct, in the gaol or on the works, which may come under their notice.
  5. All orders or communications from superior authority having reference to a gaol must be addressed to the gaoler, who shall notify them to the parties concerned. All communications, reports, applications, and official correspondence from officers of lower rank must likewise be addressed to the gaoler, and transmitted to him – through the proper channel, as locally directed – to be dealt with, or forwarded to the Inspector-General, as may be necessary.
  6. Offices must not write letters to newspapers, or, directly or indirectly, give information to the Press on matters connected with themselves or the department; but, if aggrieved, must complain, through the proper channel, to the Inspector-General. Every such complaint must, however, be made within one week after the occurrence to which it relates becomes known to the complainant, or it will be presumed to be made from improper motives, and not for the benefit of the service.
  7. Officers must not absent themselves from their respective stations, or when on duty from their allotted posts, without leave.
  8. Officers on duty must appear properly dressed in the uniform of their respective grades; and such as are armed must take care that their arms, accoutrements, and ammunition are kept at all times in serviceable order.
  9. Officers must on no account accept any fee or reward from any person for the performance of, or in connexion with, any portion of their duties.
  10. All officers must be sober, steady, and regular, punctual, and diligent in the performance of the duties assigned to them, and careful to set a good example to the prisoners, as the most certain means of ensuring respect and obedience.
  11. In enforcing obedience by the prisoners, officers must be firm but temperate, carefully avoiding the use of harsh or irritating language or gestures, and only resorting to force when absolutely necessary.
  12. Officers must use every precaution and the utmost vigilance to prevent prisoners from escaping, or holding communication with unauthorized persons.
  13. No officer shall receive any present from, or traffic or have any dealings with, a prisoner, or the friends or relatives of a prisoner; or hold any communication with either, except so far as may be necessary for the proper discharge of his or her duties.
  14. Officers are not to smoke, use improper language, enter into discussions or altercations with each other, or speak of their duties, or any matter of prison arrangement in the presence of prisoners; but must always be most guarded in their conversation and demeanour. No officer shall allow any familiarity on the part of a prisoner towards him or herself or any other officer.
  15. Officers shall inform the gaoler when any prisoner desires either to see him, or a visiting justice, or the medical officer; or to make a request or prefer a complaint to superior authority. Officers must also direct the attention of the gaoler to any prisoner who appears to them not to be in health, although he do not complain, or whose state of mind seems to require special notice.
  16. Officers occupying quarters within gaols may be allowed to have prisoners as domestic servants to the extent from time to time fixed by the Inspector-General; but such prisoners are not to be employed as mechanics, or in skilled work of any kind, nor otherwise than in strictly domestic duties.
  17. No prisoner, except as provided in the last preceding regulation, is to be employed for the benefit of any officer unless his services are paid for to the State. Officers requiring mechanical or labouring work done by prisoners are to make application to the gaoler in the manner prescribed by an order in force on the subject. Such work must be paid for at the rates hereinbefore in these rules and regulations provided, and the amounts due for the work will be deducted from the officer’s then current month’s pay. All necessary materials are to be supplied by the officer at his own expense.
  18. The gaoler and labour officers shall adopt all such means as may be within their power to promote the industrial training of the prisoners and their instruction in useful trades and manufactures.
  19. No work, except for gaol purposes or for the officers as herein provided, is to be undertaken without the authority of the Inspector-General in accordance with these rules and regulations.
  20. Prisoners occupied as servants, writers, or in other petty officers, are not to have access to newspapers nor to warrants, records, court calendars, or other official documents; and are not to be employed to write or copy correspondence relating to the discipline of the gaol, the conduct of the officers, or the treatment of the prisoners; they are not to be permitted to acquire information from official sources which may be desirable for the prisoners to learn.
  21. Prisoners are not to be employed on any extra or special work on the promise of additional remission, as no such promise will be endorsed.
  22. In all gaols, officers (but not their families) may receive medical and surgical attendance and medicines at the Government expense. A deduction must be made from such officers' pay, at rates from time to time fixed by the Chief Secretary, for every day they are absent from duty on the ground of bodily or mental infirmity, unless leave of absence has been previously obtained, or the infirmity has arisen from injury sustained in the performance of their duties.
  23. Officers two months before arriving at the age of sixty years are to report, through the proper channel, to the Inspector-General the date on which they will attain that age.
  24. No officer shall, on pain of dismissal from the service and forfeiture of all accrued pay, gratuity, or pension, keep in his own name of that of any other person a house for the sale of wines, spirits, beer, or other fermented or spirituous liquors; and no officer shall be directly or indirectly interested as owner or otherwise in any such house, nor in any contract for services, works, or supplies for the Government.
  25. Officers must not interfere with works on which Public Works contractors or workmen are employed in gaols; but should they observe anything calling for attention with regard thereto they are to bring the matter under the notice of the gaoler, who must report to the Inspector-General by telegram if necessary.
  26. When travelling on duty, the most economical mode of conveyance is to be adopted. Second-class fares only will be allowed to chief warders and others of similar or lower grades; and the amounts granted for expenses must not exceed the following rates, viz.:-
  s. d.
For a governor. 15 0
For other officer above the rank of senior warder. 10 0
For senior or other warders. 7 6

for each night of absence from their station; and when any officer is transferred to do temporary duty in any gaol other than that at which he is stationed he will be allowed, for every day he may be so doing duty temporarily, a sum equal to one-half the daily amount granted for expenses while travelling on duty, to officers holding offices of the rank of that he temporarily holds, whatever that may be.

  1. The following holidays shall be observed in gaols, viz.:-
New Year's Day.
Christmas Day.
Good Friday.
The anniversary of Her Majesty's birthday.
The anniversary of the Prince of Wales' birthday.

And such other days as may be authorized by the Chief Secretary or the Inspector-General.

Visiting Justices.

  1. Visiting justices will visit the gaols to which they are appointed weekly on a day to be fixed, and at such other uncertain times as may appear to them necessary. They will satisfy themselves that the rules and regulations are duly enforced, and that the copies are hung up in conspicuous places for the information of the prisoners. Where two or more visiting justices are appointed to the same gaol, one of them only, as arranged amongst themselves, will be required to make the visit above provided for on a fixed day each week.
  2. One of the visiting justices of each gaol will see all prisoners confined therein at least once every month, at such time as least interferes with labour and discipline, and will ascertain if such prisoners have any complaints, or if anyone is improperly or unnecessarily detained. In either case, visiting justices will make such inquiry as they may deem desirable, and, if it appears to them necessary, will bring the matter under the notice of the Inspector-General.
  3. Visiting justices will inspect the gaol in all its parts; examine the clothing, bedding, and rations; and generally satisfy themselves that the gaol is properly conducted, and that due facilities are afforded for the religious and moral instruction of the prisoners. They should occasionally be accompanied by the medical officer, that they may satisfy themselves as to the health of the prisoners and the sanitary state of the gaol.
  4. Visiting Justices will hear all complaints against prisoners which may be brought before them, and deal with such complaints according to law. They will inspect the record kept of punishments inflicted by the gaoler, but will not be at liberty to vary or alter any such punishments.
  5. Visiting justices must not directly interfere in, or give instructions with regard to, the management or discipline of the gaol, or deal with any case affecting the conduct of the officers, but must report to the Inspector-General or Chief Secretary from time to time on these or other subjects as they may think necessary.
  6. Visiting Justices shall, on or before the sixth day of each month, make a report in writing to the Chief Secretary on the state of the gaols to which they are appointed, and shall then bring under his notice any matters connected therewith which they consider require attention, and will accompany such report with a return of all punishments inflicted by their order, or that of the gaoler, during the preceding month.


  1. The gaoler will in each gaol be responsible to the Inspector-General for the due order, management, and discipline of the gaol under his charge, the safe custody of the prisoners, the care of all Government buildings and other property pertaining to the gaol, the economical expenditure of stores, and that the labour of the prisoners is made use of to the best advantage to the State. He will see that all rules and regulations, orders, and instructions from time to time made, given, or issued for the management of the gaol, or the guidance of the officers, are strictly carried out; and that all necessary books are kept, and such returns furnished, as the Inspector-General may require.
  2. The gaoler shall be the medium of communication between superior authority and all persons outside the gaol and the officers and prisoners within, and shall forward without delay to the Inspector-General any report or complaint he may receive addressed to superior authority, with such remarks or explanation thereon as he thinks fit to offer.
  3. The gaoler shall hear all reports that may be made to him daily, and shall take care that every prisoner having a complaint to make or request to prefer shall have ample facilities for so doing; he shall redress any grievance, or take such other steps, as may be necessary in each case.
  4. The gaoler shall personally keep a journal, in which he must make daily note any occurrence of importance which may take place in gaol; such journal must be laid before the Inspector-General on his visits.
  5. The gaoler shall, unless prevented by some extraordinary cause (which he shall record in his journal), personally visit, and inspect every ward and cell in the gaol, and see each prisoner, as often as may be directed by the Inspector-General. He must be present at one muster daily, and must visit the gaol during the night not less than once every week, and must record such visit in a visiting-book.
  6. The gaoler shall see that all cells, whether occupied or not, are strictly examined every morning and evening; and that prisoners committed for long terms, or who are considered dangerous, do not occupy adjoining cells.
  7. When prisoners are sent to work outside the gaol walls, not more than four are to be placed in charge of one warder or guard; when larger numbers are employed there must be at least one guard for every six prisoners, or fractional number beyond six, besides the warder in charge of the party. Gaolers must exercise judgement and discretion in sending out such parties, and particularly take care that no prisoners are thus employed who are considered likely to abscond or misbehave. Gaolers must visit such working parties, if within one mile of the gaol, daily; or if beyond, but so near that the prisoners walk to and from their labour, at least once every second day.
  8. The gaoler must take the best means at his disposal to make Chinese and other foreign prisoners acquainted with the regulations for prisoners.
  9. The gaoler shall use his best endeavour to assist in the identification of prisoners, and with that object shall furnish to the Inspector-General, and to other gaolers and the police, any information in his power.
  10. The gaoler shall not allow any person to view the gaol contrary to these rules and regulations, and shall be careful that no visitor holds communication with a prisoner unless duly authorized to do so.
  11. The gaoler shall permit visits to the prisoners in accordance with these rules and regulations, but shall have authority upon sufficient grounds to direct any visitor to be searched before admission to the gaol, and, upon refusal of such a visitor to be so searched, to refuse him admission.
  12. Subject to local regulations, visitors may be admitted to gaols between the hours of ten in the forenoon and four in the afternoon. Visits at any other times are to be considered special and exceptional.
  13. A book is to be kept in each gaol, in which every visit of the visiting justice, the medical officer, and other non-resident officers and visitors, shall be entered by the visiting justice, medical officer, non-resident officer or visitor himself, or, in case of refusal by any unofficial visitor to so enter his name, it shall be entered by the attending officer.
  14. On each visit of the Inspector-General or visiting justice, the gaoler shall report to him all irregularities which have occurred in the gaol since his last visit. The gaoler shall immediately report to the inspector in writing, or by telegram, any serious irregularity, accident, or other extraordinary event which may occur.
  15. The gaoler must never absent himself, nor permit the matron to be absent, for a night from the gaol, nor allow any person not belonging thereto to sleep therein, without the authority of the Inspector-General.
  16. Upon no occasion, must the gaoler and the officer next in authority under him be absent from the gaol at one, and the same time. When absent, except by authorized leave, the gaoler must arrange that he may be found should an emergency arise requiring his attendance.
  17. As there are no stated days for the visits of non-resident medical officers, who are, however, required to attend when called upon, gaolers will be responsible that no case of sickness or accident is left without proper medical attention, and that the directions of the medical officer are strictly and carefully carried out.
  18. Whenever a prisoner is suffering from injury or severe illness likely to terminate fatality, the gaoler must take steps to procure for such prisoner the visits of a minister of the religious denomination to which he belongs, and communicate his condition to his relatives if their addresses are known or can be ascertained.
  19. On the death of a prisoner, the gaoler must at once give notice thereof to the coroner of the district and to the Inspector-General, and, if practicable, to the friends or relatives of the prisoner. He must take care that the body is decently covered when placed in the coffin, that the death is registered, and that the funeral is properly conducted in accordance with the conditions of contract for the time being, and that the interment is witnessed by an officer of the gaol.
  20. All moneys received in gaols which are required to be forwarded to the Inspector-General must be transmitted weekly, so as to arrive on the days from time to time fixed, and under no circumstances is money to be held over for a longer period than one week from the date on which it becomes available for transmission. Moneys belonging to untried prisoners, or to those under short sentences, may be retained by the gaolers until returned to the prisoners on discharge, or otherwise disposal of in accordance with these rules and regulations. There shall be entered in a book, to be kept for that purpose, the amount of all money retained as aforesaid by any gaoler, the date of its receipt, and the date of its return or disposal thereof, which book shall be signed opposite the amount by the person receiving the same.
  21. No prisoner is to be discharged or transferred without being first seen by the gaoler or the officer next in authority. Prior to any such discharge or transfer, the prisoners’ property book is to be searched to ascertain if there be any property on charge belonging to the prisoner so about to be discharged or transferred. He is to be told of the result of the search, and of the disposal of the property (if any), in case it should not then be returned to him.
  22. Visitors not being officers shall not be present at the flogging of a prisoner, except persons who have been authorized by the Chief Secretary or Inspector-General: Provided that one representative from each local newspaper may be present without such authority. This regulation shall not be taken to empower any person to authorize persons not being officers to be present at the flogging of the prisoner sentenced to be privately whipped.

Senior Chief Warder.

  1. The senior chief warder shall be the officer next in authority to the gaoler, and during his absence shall have charge of the gaol, and to be responsible to the gaoler for the due order and discipline of the gaol. He must never leave the gaol during the absence of the gaoler, to whom he will be answerable for the efficient discharge of his duties, and shall perform such other duties as the gaoler directs.
  2. The senior chief warder shall, under the gaoler, have entire charge of the warders; and the maintenance of order, discipline, and efficiency of that body devolves upon him.
  3. The senior chief warder shall see that a sufficient guard is sent out with all labour-parties, to the proper searching of the prisoners, and that all precautions are taken to prevent trafficking and illicit communication.
  4. The senior chief warder shall report to the gaoler every infringement of these rules and regulations which comes under his notice, or any other matter that requires attention.
  5. The senior chief warder shall be accountable for all gaol furniture, bedding, arms, and accoutrements in use, and in store for the use of the warders; he must see that the warders are in proper uniform, that their dormitories are clean and in good order, and that that there is no improper expenditure of water or gas; he must see that these rules and regulations and all orders and instructions are strictly adhered to and carried out.
  6. The senior chief warder shall receive all applications for leave or otherwise from warders, and transmit them with his report to the gaoler.
  7. The senior chief warder shall frequently visit the sentries, officers appointed for special duty overseers, and others on the works during labour hours, and at eight o’clock in the evening must visit the officers and warders on duty, inspect the gaol generally, and satisfy himself as to the security of the gaol, and that these rules and regulations are complied with.
  8. The keys of the gaol are to be securely locked by the senior chief warder at six o’clock every evening in an iron safe in the guard room at the main entrance, in charge of the armed guard stationed at the front gate. The key of such iron safe shall be retained by him in his own possession until six o’clock in the morning, when the keys of the gaol are to be given out by him in time to commence unlocking at the proper hour. In case the senior chief warder has to temporarily discharge the duties of gaoler, he shall, nevertheless, perform the duties in this regulation mentioned.
  9. In the absence at any time of the senior chief warder, the gaoler shall be charged with the execution of the duties in the last preceding regulation mentioned.
  10. He will, at six o’clock every evening, except Sundays and holidays, report to the gaoler the result of his daily observations in the discharge of duties.

Medical Officers.

  1. The medical officer of every gaol shall provide proper and sufficient medical attendance, surgical treatment, and medicines, without charge, to the officers of such gaol (but not to their families), and to every prisoner confined therein. Where non-resident, he shall make visits to the gaol as often as may be required by the Inspector-General, and also attend whenever called on by the gaoler.
  2. The medical officer shall medically examine every prisoner as soon after reception as convenient, and record his state of health and such other circumstances connected therewith as may be necessary.
  3. The medical officer shall inform the gaoler of any particular point he may become acquainted with, in regard to a prisoner’s person, which might assist in identifying him.
  4. The medical officer shall from time to time examine all the prisoners under his care, and report to the gaoler if, in his opinion, the health of any of them is likely to suffer from the mode of discipline or labour to which they are subject.
  5. The medical officer shall examine any prisoner before corporal punishment is inflicted, and certify whether or not he if fit to receive such punishment. He shall be present at every execution, or infliction of corporal punishment, which may take place within the gaol, and every prisoner undergoing separate or solitary confinement shall be under close medical observation.
  6. The medical officer shall make a periodical inspection of the gaol at least once in every three months, in company with the visiting justice or gaoler, and shall report to the latter any matters connected with its sanitary condition that he thinks worthy of notice.
  7. The medical officer shall keep a journal, in which he shall enter day by day, in the English language, an account of the state of each patient under his care, the name of the disease under which he is suffering, and the description of the diet and medicine he orders for such patient.
  8. The medical officer shall keep such other books, and make such returns and reports, as are required by the Inspector-General.

Visiting Chaplain.

  1. The duties of the visiting chaplains are confined exclusively to the religious instruction of the prisoners. They will perform Divine service on Sundays and Holy days, as may from time to time be arranged by authority of the Inspector-General. They will visit every prisoner belonging to their respective denominations, who may be in separate or solitary confinement, at least once every week, and other prisoners at such times as may be convenient, but they shall not communicate with the friends or relatives of prisoners without the authority of the gaoler.
  2. Recognised ministers of religion may be permitted to visit, for the purpose of imparting religious consolation and advice, prisoners of their own denomination; and, if there be such a chaplain, the permission may be granted with his consent. Such visits not to interfere with labour or discipline.

Storekeeper, Etc.

  1. The store and transport regulations for the time being in force are, as far as applicable, to be strictly carried out.
  2. For the purposes of this branch of these rules and regulations, the following officers are herein designated storekeepers, viz.:-

At the Penal Establishment Pentridge, and the Melbourne Gaol – The respective storekeepers.

At gaols where there is a chief warder but not a storekeeper – The chief warder.

At other gaols – The senior warder, if there be one; or The gaoler.

  1. The storekeeper shall have charge of all public property received at, or made or produced in, the gaol, and shall be responsible that it is kept in due order, and preserved from damage by the weather or other causes. He shall make no issues therefrom without such authority as may from time to time be prescribed by the Inspector-General, and shall keep all necessary books and furnish such returns as may be required.
  2. No article, whether of food, bedding, clothing, or of any other kind, shall be received into the gaol until it has been examined to ascertain that it contains nothing contrary to the rules; and the admission of any article which may appear likely to be used for an improper purpose may be refused by order of the gaoler.
  3. All articles received from contractors are to be at once inspected, and if of inferior quality, or unsuitable for the purpose for which they may be required, a report is to be immediately made to the Inspector-General. Rations and perishable goods are to be dealt with in accordance with conditions of contract.
  4. Every article made by Government materials within any gaol, grown on any gaol reserve, or in any way produced or procured at the cost of the State, is hereby declared to be public property, and is to be taken charge of accordingly.
  5. All articles that can be so treated, before issue from store for public use, are to be branded as may be directed.
  6. No article whatever of public property, except fixtures in Government quarters, is on any pretence to be taken into private use. No Government materials are to be used in making any article for private purposes, except where arrangements authorized by the Inspector-General are made to secure payment therefor.
  7. The storekeeper shall keep an account against each officer having charge of stores, and shall make an inspection and take stock of such stores as often as is directed by the Inspector-General, and shall report the state in which they are found.
  8. Divisional and other officers having charge of stores will take care that no excessive or unnecessary demands are made, that due economy is exercised, and that proper precautions are taken against waste or loss. No losses will be allowed for on passing accounts unless reported at the time they occur.


  1. The schoolmaster shall have charge of the school, libraries, and all matters connected with the bookbinding and printing at Pentridge, and shall be responsible that they are properly managed; and that the books, both in the religious and general libraries, are kept in repair, duly issued, and returned. He shall perform such other duties as may be required of him by the gaoler.
  2. In gaols where there is not a schoolmaster, an officer appointed to discharge the duties shall have charge of the library, and perform the duties prescribed for the schoolmaster in connexion therewith.

Overseers of Labour.

  1. Overseers of labour shall attend every morning at muster, when they will have a certain number of prisoners told off to their charge. They shall conduct such prisoners to their place of labour as ordered, and shall remain with them during the day, returning at the appointed hour. They will be responsible for the discipline and good order of the prisoners while at labour, and that the work allotted them is properly and expeditiously performed.
  2. Overseers of detached parties must have in view, as a paramount consideration, the safe custody of the prisoners, and will therefore distribute their gangs so that if possible, every prisoner may be within range of two warders.
  3. Overseers will be responsible for the tools issued for the use of their several gangs, and shall make requisitions for supplies, and account for the same, in such manner as may from time to time be ordered.
  4. Overseers shall not employ prisoners on, or undertake, work of any kind without proper authority. They must keep accounts of all work performed, as we as of the conduct of the prisoners, and shall make returns and reports as may be required by the gaoler.
  5. Overseers will be liable to any duty they may be called upon by the gaoler to perform.

Chief Warder.

  1. Where there is no chief warder, the chief warder or senior warder, as the case may be, shall be the officer next in authority to the gaoler, and shall have charge of the gaol during his absence. He shall generally be responsible to the gaoler for the due order and discipline of the prison, and shall report to that officer any irregularity that may come under his notice. Where there are two or more chief waders, then senior shall at all times take precedence.
  2. Chief warders shall have charge of the warders, and shall take care that they are properly instructed in their duties and in the use of their arms. Chief warders shall also perform such other duties as may be assigned to them by the gaoler, and shall be responsible for the safe custody of the prisoners, that they are properly searched, and that all trafficking and illicit communication is prevented.
  3. Chief warders shall also have charge of all tools, furniture, bedding, utensils, arms, accoutrements, and other stores in their respective gaols or divisions; and shall keep the proper books in connexion therewith. They shall make no issues therefrom without the authority of the gaoler, to whom they will furnish weekly a return of all issues, showing the names of the persons to whom they have been made.
  4. Prisoners’ private clothing, and similar property, shall be in their custody. Such property is to be cleaned, fumigated, and stored in alphabetical order under the owner’s name, care being taken that it is properly dried before being so stored. It must be examined at least once in every three months, exposed for some hours in the open air, and every other necessary precaution taken to preserve it from injury.
  5. Chief warders shall have charge of the keys during the day, and will see to the locking and unlocking, and the proper cleaning of the wards and cells, the issue of the rations, and other gaol duties; and shall, at evening muster, visit every cell or ward and call the roll, and, satisfying themselves as to the security of the gaol and the prisoners, and that the rules and regulations are complied with, shall deliver up the keys to the proper office. Chief warders shall visit the gaol during the night not less often than once in the week, and will enter such visits in a visiting-book.
  6. Chief warders shall personally attend all musters; shall count the prisoners into and out of the sleeping wards, cells, or airing yards; shall examine night and morning the irons of those in chains; and will be responsible that all authorized lights are lit at the proper hour, and kept burning as ordered.
  7. Chief warders will be responsible that all posts are filled, that the warders are properly armed and dressed, that a sufficient guard is furnished to every gang sent to labour, and that the warders are acquainted with the special orders appertaining to each post.
  8. Chief warders shall receive all applications for leave or otherwise from their subordinates, and transmit them with their reports to the gaoler.
  9. Chief warders shall keep a daily duty-book, in which the duty performed by each warder is to be duly entered, and any other matters of importance duly noted.

Senior Warders and Warders.

  1. Senior warders shall take precedence of all ordinary warders, shall perform duties as may be allotted to them by their superior officers, and, in the absence of the chief warder, or where there is not an officer of that grade, shall perform and be responsible for the chief warder’s duties.
  2. Warders shall carry out with vigilance and zeal all orders they may receive from their superiors. They shall, in addition to their ordinary duty, be liable to be called on by day or night to perform such duties as the exigencies of the service may require. They will be subject to removal from gaol to gaol as may be considered necessary.
  3. Any warder absenting himself from duty on the ground of sickness will not be considered entitled to pay for the time he may be absent unless exempted by the medical officer, and may be further dealt with for such absence.
  4. When on duty under arms, warders will be responsible that their guns are properly loaded, and must be careful in handling them that no accident may occur. At such times, they must invariably wear belts, and pouches containing six rounds of ammunition, and must take care that the ammunition properly fits the guns they carry. They must not deface their arms or accoutrements, or make any alteration in them without authority. Where Winchester or repeating rifles are supplied, belts and pouches need not be carried.
  5. Warders, when armed, must never go among the prisoners, nor allow a prisoner to approach them within ten paces or get behind them or otherwise out of their sight, nor shall they in any way place themselves in a position to be assailed; but should a prisoner attempt to escape, or a rush or a combined attack upon officers or warders take place, they must act with promptitude, and, after challenging in a loud voice, must not hesitate to fire upon the offenders if they cannot otherwise be secured or deterred.
  6. In the event of an escape or attempt to escape, such warders only are to go in pursuit as the officer in immediate charge of the division, gang, or party directs, so that the safe custody of the remaining prisoners may not be endangered.
  7. Warders shall not allow any unauthorized person to hold communication with, or give or pass anything to, a prisoner, but must arrest any person apparently loitering about the gaol or works for such purpose. Should they find any unauthorized articles secreted, they must report the circumstances, and give up the articles, to the senior chief warder, or where there is not an officer of that grade to the chief warder or senior warder who is responsible for chief warder’s duties, or where there are no such officers to the gaoler.
  8. When on duty after dark, warders must challenge anyone approaching their posts, and ascertain who the person may be before allowing him to pass. They will be responsible that all authorized lights are kept burning, must mark the tell-tale clock at the appointed periods, and note and report any irregularity that may appear.
  9. Warders must reside within 400 yards of the gaol, except under special circumstances, when the distance may be extended by the Inspector-General to 800 yards.
  10. On returning to the gaol, from leave or duty, warders shall at once report themselves to the senior chief warder, or where there is not an officer of that grade to the chief warder or senior warder who is responsible for chief warder’s duties, or where there are no such officers to the gaoler.
  11. When in charge of labour parties, warders will be responsible that the prisoners are industrious and orderly, and that the work is properly executed.
  12. Warders on duty on towers or walls are to keep a look-out over the gaol generally, and must give notice of any irregularity they may observe, although not within their particular beat. They must give every assistance to each other, but without leaving their posts, except when ordered by a superior officer. They will be responsible for all prisoners within their range of vision.
  13. Sentries are not under any circumstances to leave their posts until relieved, and on being relieved are to point out to their successors any matters of special importance connected with their duties.
  14. Defacing or writing on the sentry-boxes, boards of orders, or peg-clocks, is strictly prohibited; and sentries on taking post are to examine and report any injury or disfigurement there may be on those in the beat. Should any such be afterwards discovered, the warder then, or last, on the post will be held responsible.
  15. Sentries on night duty outside are not to remain in the sentry-boxes unless it rains heavily, and even then, they are to visit and examine their charge frequently.
  16. The check visiting-book must be filled up and signed daily by each sentry, the name of the officer visiting and the time of the visit being entered.
  17. Any sentry found asleep on post will be at once relieved and, if considered necessary, suspended from duty.

Female Officers.

  1. In all gaols where females are confined there shall be a matron, or such other female officers as may be necessary. Female officers will be amenable to the general rules and regulations, and to those for males of corresponding grades. Matrons, where so appointed, will rank with chief warders, sub-matrons’ and overseers with senior warders.
  2. The matron will be responsible to the gaoler that cleanliness, order, and discipline are maintained among the female prisoners, and in the portion of the gaol appropriated to them. She shall have charge of the stores in the division, and of the prisoners’ private clothing, and shall keep all necessary books and accounts, and generally perform the duties, as far as applicable, of a chief warder.


  1. The following acts, as well as any breach of these rules or regulations, any disobedience of orders or neglect of duty, or other misconduct on the part of an officer, will be rigorously dealt with, viz.:-
    1. Being asleep on post.
    2. Sitting down without permission, talking, reading, or smoking when on duty.
    3. Wrangling, disputing, or quarrelling, whether on public or private matters.
    4. Introducing wine, beer, or any spirituous liquor without authority, or other prohibited article, into any part of the gaol.
    5. Taking out from or giving any letter or other article whatever to a prisoner without authority whether with or without consideration.
    6. Entering into any correspondence, or addressing any communication whatever in his official capacity, except through the proper channel.
    7. Removing any article or property from the gaol without proper authority.
    8. Absenting himself from duty or from the gaol without leave.
    9. Card playing or gambling.
    10. Drunkenness, disorderly conduct, or prevarication.

Repeal of Previous Regulations.

  1. All rules and regulations relating to gaols, or to the mitigation and remission of offences, and all rules and regulations made under the authority of any Act relating to gaols, or under the authority of section 318 of “The Criminal Law and Practice Statute 1864,” are hereby revoked and repealed, save so far as the operation of any of the said rules and regulations is by any of these rules and regulations expressly saved as to persons who are prisoners at the date of the making of these rules and regulations.