Jailed installation view Photo © Jenni Carter for Sydney Living Museums

Jailed: penitentiary to private prison 1840-2000

Who do we incarcerate in our prison system? 

In 2001* it was reported that 25% of male prisoners were aged between 18-24; 75% had an alcohol or other drug related problem, 64% had no stable family, 44% were long term unemployed, 21% had attempted suicide and 60% did not complete year 10. 

In the female prison population 26% were Indigenous, 39% had previously attempted suicide, 23% were on psychiatric medication, 73% were previously admitted to psychiatric or mental health units and women inmates had higher levels of illicit drug use, depression and sexual abuse issues.  Prisons are often the scenes of brutality, violence and stress. 

In this exhibition, Jailed: Penitentiary to Private Prison 1840-2000 curator Caleb Williams examined the development of the modern prison and questioned whether architecture can ever be used as an agent in the transformation of the human soul. It also explored the secretive worlds and disciplinary spaces of NSW jails as well as the philosophy and architecture that has sustained them over time.

Prisons don't work

Curator, Caleb Williams

23 October 2004 - 30 October 2005