One of the final MUST see attractions in Melbourne are the Old Gaol. The Gaol is a prison build in the late 19th century. At that time it was Melbourne’s biggest building that tells something about how high the crime rates were. The amount of people moving into Victoria was so fast that the law and order got out of hands. There were 55 policemen when the prison opened but shortly after it only 5 remained because most of them had started doing other business or gone to look for gold.
The Gaol was a “test” prison. All inmates were to be separated from other and kept in complete silence so that they could think of the crimes they had done and this way heal them selves. They believed that by putting a person inside a cell 23 hours a day with only a bible the criminals would be cured. There was only 1-hour daily exercise inside the prison perimeters. The prison has 3 floors, on the first floor the new prisoners are kept and if you behave good you would be put to the second or third floor. On the upper floors there were other prisoners in the same cell in order to see if you could behave well. Some were moved within 3 days for good behaviour, others still not after 1.5 years. Some people obviously became insane after a while because they could not take the closed space and were locked up in some lunatic house. There were thick carpets to prevent any sounds by walking in the whole prison and also, every time you left your cell a mask was put on your face so that no one could recognise you. This way you never knew if you talked to a friend or acquaintance.
The Gaol also has a “tour” every 30 minutes where you are being treated as a prisoner. Was really realistic and well made. Pictures will illustrate how it was done, but I wasn’t able to film everything since the “guard” told me to toss the camera. Every time the guard asked something we had to answer "Yes Sergeant or No Sergeant". Finally they locked us up in a cell.
My name was Tran Le and I was a theif...kleptis
Us prisoners are stripped of stuff and searched for sharp objects and drugs
I was locked up in this cell
And then the lights were turned off...
The "exercise" yard for prisoners 1h daily
For violent prisoners extra silent walls
And finally a mugshot
The old part of the prison in 3 floors.
View from the "good behaving" section
This is how it looked when you were a new prisoner
The mask you had to wear when outside your cell
Executions were done by hanging here
After the prison I went to walk the whole beach street which is about 3km of golden sand, sunshine and fresh air!
Windsurfing very popular
Loads of nice beach houses