Prison Life at Adelaide Gaol

The daily schedule of prison life in Adelaide Gaol ran to strict times. The toll of the Adelaide Gaol bell marked the beginning and end of the daily 'sessions' and also rang during the execution of a prisoner.

Solitary prison life 

Prisoners ate all their meals in their cells and on average spent 14 hours a day alone. At the beginning and end of every session, prisoners were counted and a roll call taken.

Morning prison life

At 7am each morning, breakfast was delivered to the cells through small hatches in the doors. This was followed by cell inspections. Prisoners had to keep their cells and possessions clean at all times. Once the cleaning inspection was completed, the night soil buckets were taken into the yards and emptied and cleaned.

The morning session was then spent in the yard and recreation rooms.

Afternoon prison life 

At 12.30pm, prisoners were escorted back to their cells where they ate lunch and remained in their cells until the afternoon session.

In the afternoon, prisoners were released back into the yard until the evening meal was served in their cells at 4.15pm. They remained in their cells until the following morning. Prison life was certainly not glamorous or social! 

Do you want to really know what prison life was like? Take a look at our Mugshot Exhibition