Women in prison

Women were housed in Maitland Gaol on a permanent basis from its opening year (1848) up until 1951.

Women were housed in this facility for the first hundred years of its operation, but sadly during this time many women had to bring their children with them or had children whilst being housed in gaol.

Conditions in the early years of the Gaol’s operation where appalling, for both men and women, but especially for women and children. They were kept on the top landing of A Wing for many years to keep them separate from the male population. Overcrowding and unsanitary and unsafe conditions meant that sadly some children died inside the Gaol walls. Eventually women would be moved to C Wing after its construction, they also had their own day rooms and a female only hospital.