Barwon prison

Template:Use Australian English

Barwon Prison
Location Lara, Victoria

37°59′5″S 144°21′9″E / 37.98472°S 144.35250°E / -37.98472; 144.35250Coordinates: 37°59′5″S 144°21′9″E / 37.98472°S 144.35250°E / -37.98472; 144.35250

Status Operational
Security class Maximum to Supermax
Capacity 428
Opened January, 1990
Managed by Corrections Victoria

HM Prison Barwon or informally Barwon Prison, an Australian high risk and maximum security prison for males, is located 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from the township of Lara, near Geelong, Victoria, Australia. The facility is operated by Corrections Victoria, part of the Department of Justice of the Government of Victoria. The prison provides accommodation and services for remand and sentenced felons detained under Victorian and/or Commonwealth legislation.

Barwon Prison is located adjacent to the 300–bed medium security Marngoneet Correctional Centre, opened in 2006.


Barwon was built to cater for demand due to the recent closures of HM Prison Geelong in 1991 and HM Prison Pentridge in 1997.

Construction of the prison commenced in 1986. It was completed in October 1989 and the first prisoners were received in January 1990. Barwon is the only Victorian maximum security prison located outside the Melbourne metropolitan area.

Accommodation units

Barwon provides accommodation and services for maximum security mainstream prisoners including a 20-bed facility for high security prisoners and a 60-bed facility for maximum security protection prisoners. A campus of the Gordon Institute of TAFE operates at the prison providing a corrections education program.

The prison is split into many separate units including:

  • Acacia – a high security unit that is used to accommodate high risk prisoners
  • Banksia – a management unit for prisoners requiring close supervision or protection. All cells in this unit are single cells. The Banksia unit is separated into three smaller units, namely Coast, Heath, and Waratah.
  • Hoya – a segregation unit
  • Cassia – a mainstream unit which houses new prisoners
  • Diosma – a mainstream unit which accommodates prison workers
  • Eucalypt – a mainstream drug free unit used to house older, more settled long term prisoners
  • Grevillea – opened in April 2003, housing segregation prisoners
  • 'Illawarra – , for medium security prisoners.


A 2012 art exhibition called The Barwon Interviews, comprising video footage of twelve inmates, was part of a Monash University PhD project that was focused on examining prisoners adjusting to life inside Barwon Prison, their family struggles, and guilty consciences.[1]

In February 2012, visiting Barwon Prison to speak to indigenous inmates as part of a mentoring program, former AFL player Wayne Carey was found to have traces of cocaine on his clothing following a routine drug scan. Carey was informed that he could enter the prison if he submitted to a strip search. He declined and left the correctional facility.[2]

Notable prisoners,


External links

  • Barwon Prison profile: Department of Justice.
  • images of inside HM Prison Barwon, taken in April 2011. Photography by Alex Coppel.
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