Kevin Hayden graduated into the prison service in 1976… Initially at Wacol Prison, but soon he was transferred to the trouble filled Number 2 Division – Boggo Road Gaol.

I started in the service because I wanted better job security and a career.  My father was an officer in the prison service and had encouraged me to apply when my job prospects were not too good.   I worked initially at Wacol Prison and then went on to Boggo Road a little later.

My first impression of Boggo Road was it was an absolute nightmare.  I couldn’t believe how outdated the place was.  The whole place was filthy.  There were rats bigger than cats and Number Two division was just putrid.  There was no sanitation in place there. The conditions for inmates and officers alike was barbaric.  Everyone was frustrated beyond belief.

The trouble there all came to a head in 1988, and a series of riots took place. These times were the most frightening to say the least. Conditions at Boggo Road Gaol had become unbearable and many officers left the job.  I stayed on, it was difficult.  But it was my job, a job I needed to keep.

After an investigation into the conditions into the gaol. The Kennedy Report was released.   The report recommended a number of changes and two div was to be closed for good.

It really was a blessing when the government closed down two division.  At one stage there, there was three inmates in each cell which made tensions very high.  We had rooftop protests, fires and all kinds of other problems.  It was bad, really bad.

When Boggo Road eventually closed completely, I went back to Wacol Prison where I proceeded to work my way up the ranks.  In 1998 I decided that my time inside was up.  I moved to the Gold Coast to start a new life. I had officially resigned after 22 years’ service.

I was proud to have served as a prison officer and made many friends through the job, Officers and Inmates alike. It is a difficult job and sometimes it gets a bad rap.

Listen to Episode #8 of ‘Boggo’ – the official podcast for Boggo Road Gaol.

In this episode, Research Co-ordinator Sue, and former officer Kevin, discuss Kevin’s career in the prisons service and what life was like for an officer on the inside of Boggo Road Gaol during the infamous eighties full of riots, protests and violence.

Visit www.boggoroadgaol.com to book history tours and events.


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