Story: Prisons

Mt Eden prison guards, 1900 (1st of 2)

Mt Eden prison guards, 1900

Officers of Mt Eden Prison, shown in 1900, wear uniforms reflecting the nature of the job at that time. Many of the guards were former military men and their job was a quasi-military one. Guards were subject to strict discipline and followed a rigid chain of command. They had little say over their pay or conditions. Their uniform was selected by Captain Arthur Hume, inspector general of prisons, who was also for a time commissioner of police and acting under-secretary of defence. Hume chose very similar uniforms for all three services, with prison officers dressed in dark blue or black.

Using this item

Auckland City Libraries - Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Reference: AWNS-19000803-8-4

Permission of Auckland City Libraries Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Peter Clayworth, 'Prisons - Prisons in a changing society, 1949–1990', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 4 October 2023)

Story by Peter Clayworth, published 20 Jun 2012