Pentridge Prison was established first as a stockade in 1850 and largely constructed in the period 1858 – 64. It is the largest prison complex built in Victoria in the 19th century and operated as the central establishment in the wider prison system from the early 1860s. With the closure of Melbourne Gaol in 1929, Pentridge became the state's most-used prison until its closure in 1997, hosting some of the country’s most notorious prisoners.
Early Days at Pentridge Prison includes a great collection of illustrations from the archives. It takes the reader on a journey from how and why Pentridge was built, stories of the floating prison hulks, the purpose of the panopticon airing yards, a system designed to rehabilitate prisoners by punishment, and some of the characters who both worked and were imprisoned here.
Articulated through the texts of Don Osborne, a teacher at Pentridge for several years.