You are here: Convict Institutions Overcrowding
All of the convict institutions, at one time or other, were overcrowded. As more and more convicts arrived in the colony, the buildings bulged at the seams with women and children.
Discussion of the situation in the convict institutions was often aired in the local newspapers. Overcrowding meant that the classes of convicts could not be kept separate, so the bad mixed with the good.
On 25 March 1843, the Cornwall Chronicle, based in Launceston published the following article (p.2).
FEMALE PRISONERS.—There are at present immured within the walls of the factories of this colony, eleven hundred and forty women and children. If His Excellency Sir John Franklin desires to put an end to the commission of the most horrid crimes, which the unnatural imprisonment of so large a number of the "softer sex" occasion, he will adopt some means to lessen the number in the factories which can be readily done without in the slightest degree endangering the security of the free inhabitants.
The following population information was taken from Waterford Mail 16 November 1833
POPULATION OF VAN DIEMEN’S LAND
The population of the Hobart Town district amounted at the commencement of the year 1833 to 10,101 of which number 8,000 reside in Hobart Town, and the greater part of the remainder at New Town and Sandy bay. The increase during the past year is astonishing, and should it continue to augment in the same ratio, the whole island will be densely populated in another half century. January 1st 1832, free males 3.102, free females 2.227, male convicts 2,362, female convicts 669, total inhabitants 8,360. January 1st 1833, free males 3,850, free females 2,776, male convicted 2,698 female convicts 776, total inhabitants 10,101. The population of the other districts had increased during the same period in an equal proportion, so that, exclusive of the military, the members oif the Van Dieman’s Land Company’s establishment at Circular Head and the Aborigines the population of the whole island amounts to a fraction more than 30,00 souls.(Parker’s Van Diemen’s Land) Information taken from Waterford Mail 16 November 1833