Riots and protests

Only one riot took place during the gaol's 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 the 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 the Gaol would ever see and it was extremely lucky that during it no prison officers were 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.