parramatta correctional centre

Parramatta Correctional Centre: A Historic Overview

History of the Parramatta Correctional Centre

The Early Days

The Parramatta Correctional Centre, located in New South Wales, Australia, holds a significant place in the history of the region. Its roots can be traced back to 1798 when it was first established as a place of secondary punishment for convicts who reoffended in the colony.

Modern Times and Changes

Over the years, the Parramatta Correctional Centre has seen a variety of changes. From a penal establishment, it transformed into a reformatory and industrial school for girls in 1887, before reverting back to a male prison in 1922.

Structure and Architecture

Description of Buildings

The complex of Parramatta Correctional Centre includes an array of buildings and structures, showcasing varying architectural styles. The iconic gatehouse, three chapels, the ‘circle’ or panopticon, and a series of cell blocks stand as testament to the institution’s long history.

The Panopticon Design

The Parramatta Correctional Centre is most noted for its panopticon – a unique architectural concept originally proposed by philosopher Jeremy Bentham. This design allowed guards to keep an eye on all inmates simultaneously, making it a significant development in prison architecture.

See also  Parklea Correctional Centre

The Life Inside Parramatta Correctional Centre

Inmate Lifestyle and Programs

Life inside the Parramatta Correctional Centre was far from easy. However, the institution introduced numerous programs aimed at rehabilitating inmates, including vocational training and education programs.

Staff and Administration

The Parramatta Correctional Centre was managed by a dedicated staff who were tasked with maintaining order and overseeing the wellbeing of the inmates. The administrative team played a vital role in managing the centre’s operations and implementing various reformative programs.

Notable Incidents and Events

Historical Events

Throughout its long history, the Parramatta Correctional Centre has been the site of several significant events. This includes notable escapes and riots, which have been well-documented and form a critical part of its narrative.

Recent Happenings

In the recent past, Parramatta Correctional Centre has been in the news for a number of reasons, ranging from reforms to controversial incidents.

The Closure and Heritage Status

The Closure Decision

In 2011, after more than 200 years in operation, the decision was made to close the Parramatta Correctional Centre. The centre had become outdated and no longer met the needs of a modern correctional facility.

Heritage Status and Future Plans

Today, the Parramatta Correctional Centre is recognized as a heritage site. It remains a symbol of the region’s convict past and there are plans in place to preserve it for future generations to appreciate.


The Parramatta Correctional Centre serves as an important reminder of Australia’s penal history. Its architecture, its evolution over the years, and its role in the society of New South Wales have made it a significant historical landmark.

See also  Defence Force Correctional Establishment


  1. When was the Parramatta Correctional Centre established? The Parramatta Correctional Centre was first established in 1798.
  2. What is the panopticon design in Parramatta Correctional Centre? The panopticon is a unique architectural design that allows guards to observe all inmates at once without them knowing whether they are being watched.
  3. What were some of the programs for inmates at the Parramatta Correctional Centre? The Centre had several programs aimed at rehabilitating inmates, such as vocational training and education programs.
  4. When did the Parramatta Correctional Centre close? The Parramatta Correctional Centre was closed in 2011.
  5. What is the current status of the Parramatta Correctional Centre? The Parramatta Correctional Centre is currently recognized as a heritage site.

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