The Darwin Correctional Centre at Berrimah in Darwin opened in 1979 to replace the Fannie Bay Gaol. It housed minimum and maximum security prisoners, sentenced and on remand. It had separate sections for young people and women. The number of young people accommodated decreased during the 1980s to 1990s. In 2013 Berrimah was scheduled to be closed the following year to be replaced by the new Darwin Correctional Centre at Howard Springs.
The Darwin Correctional Centre opened at Tivendale Road, Berrimah on 21 May 1979. Located 17 km from the centre of Darwin, it replaced the Fanny Bay Gaol as a correctional institution for minimum and maximum security prisoners, including those sentenced and on remand. It had separate sections for women and young people.
When the Centre opened it had 110 beds. By 2011 it had expanded to accommodate over 600 prisoners. However the gaol was often described as being overcrowded.
Information about young people placed at Berrimah is limited. Government reports show that in 1985 there were 85 young people in adult gaols across the Northern Territory. The reports do not clearly state whether these young people were accommodated in Darwin or Alice Springs. Numbers across the Territory dropped in the 1990s after the introduction of community based sentencing.
In 1991 only three young people were housed at Berrimah, two on remand and one serving a sentence. On 30th June 1995 there were five 16-17 year olds in the prison. In 1992-93 a 17 year old who had been placed in the juvenile section of the prison for his own protection asked to move to the adult section of the prison where he had friends. The request was granted.
In 2013 the Darwin Correctional Centre at Berrimah was scheduled to be closed the following year, replaced by the Darwin Correctional Precinct at Howard Springs, 29 kilometres from Darwin.
Prepared by: Megg Kelham, Karen George and Gary George
Created: 30 July 2013, Last modified: 23 June 2016