Abuse Law – Institutions – Tamworth Institution for Boys, NSW

State Government-run Institutions

The New South Wales Government established reformatory schools and detention centres to provide institutional care and confinement for young people deemed to be in the need of ‘correction’. The Child Welfare Department were responsible for the management of these government-run institutions.

Tamworth Institution for Boys

In 1947, the New South Wales Government established and opened Tamworth Institution for Boys, situated on Pacific Highway, Kariong NSW. Tamworth Institution for Boys was annex to Mount Penang Juvenile Justice Centre.  

Tamworth Institution for Boys (previously known as Tamworth Boys Home, Home for Boys Tamworth, and Institution for Boys Tamworth) operated as a secondary detention centre for boys between the ages of 15 and 18 who had absconded from Mount Penang Juvenile Justice Centre or Mittagong Training Home in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. Tamworth Institution for Boys was also operated as a detention centre for boys who had been convicted of offences whilst detained at Mount Penang Juvenile Justice Centre. The children were typically confined by a court order at Tamworth Institution for Boys. 

Tamworth Institution for Boys closed in 1976 and it became the Endeavour House.

History of Abuse at Tamworth Institution for Boys

It is well known that Tamworth Institution for Boys was one of the harshest child welfare institutions in New South Wales. Throughout the years, Tamworth Institution for Boys came to be labelled as a concentration camp and compared to a prisoner of war camp. Tamworth Institution for Boys sadly also became a breeding ground for some of the worst underworld criminals in New South Wales (such as Arthur ‘Neddy’ Smith and George Freeman), who most were present between 1961 to 1972 when the treatment of the detained boys was said to have been at its worst.

The conditions in Tamworth Institution for Boys were harsh, in that the detained boys were not allowed to talk to each other or look at each other. The sleeping and living conditions were also very primitive with the detained boys having to use steel buckets for toilets and sunlight into the cells/rooms was very restricted.  

It is well reported that the detained boys were subjected to highly abusive discipline at Tamworth Institution for Boys, which included beatings, isolation, solitary confinement, food deprivation, manual labour, and walking around Tamworth Institution for Boys with heavy boxes on their heads.  

It has been confirmed in December 2011 by the ABC’s Investigations Unit that the Tamworth Institution for Boys was responsible for the murder of more than 35 persons during its operation. The ABC also interviewed a number of former inmates who, while they did not go on to commit serious offences, all agreed that time spent at the Tamworth Institution for Boys could turn someone into a killer. 

We are specialist abuse lawyers and can help you receive acknowledgement, meaningful apology and financial resolution from those institutions and systems of power that failed to protect you from harm. If you would like advice in relation to a childhood or adult sexual, physical and/or psychological/emotional abuse claim in any jurisdiction in Australia, please reach out to the author, Emily Wright, at Littles Lawyers today. 

Further Abuse Law information written by our Emily Wright can be found on our website.

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