Riots and protests
Maitland Gaol was witness to only one riot during its 150 year history, however protests were numerous over the years. From lone prisoners starving themselves to half the inmates pushing back at those in authority.
Over 70 inmates rioted protesting about the prison system and the conditions inside Maitland Gaol. Fire was set to the maintenance block and they used a collection of homemade weapons to attack the warders. The riot in 1975 was the worst that Maitland Gaol would ever see and it was extremely lucky that during it no prison officer was killed. Eventually the infamous Darcy Dugan was blamed for initiating this riot even though there is no evidence to suggest that he took part.
A 23 year old inmate protested for 16 hours by sitting on top of the Administration building. At one stage he disappeared over the roof returning with food. Armed with a softwood stake he waved to the Maitland Mercury and television journalists.