Officers Stories 1 – Kevin Hayden
1976 – 1998
Boggo Road Gaol
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 I couldn’t believe how outdated the place was.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 stay on, It was difficult. But it was my job, a job I needed to keep.
After the investigations into the conditions into the gaol. The report recommended a number of changes and two div was 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 wrap.
Want to hear about what life inside was really like?
Former Officer Kevin Hayden is the guide for our Officer Tour this month! You can come along and take a tour with Kevin where he will tell you all about his time inside Queensland’s most notorious prison. These tours are restricted to persons over 15 years. Some stories may upset or offend younger guests. For more information please click here
Were you a former officer? inmate? Do you have a story to share with us? You can contact our research team here