Year 11 Legal Studies Students visit Margoneet Correctional Centre

Margoneet Correctional Centre

Lara VIC


On our recent excursion to the Margoneet Correctional Centre, both Year 11 Legal Studies classes were given an insight into the world of the criminal justice system; namely, life after sentencing.  For many, this was a foreign experience that proved to be further beneficial to our understanding of the law.  Our outing began with a long bus ride out to Lara, which saw the better part of a Tuesday morning sparking discussion and inciting intrigue and anticipation amongst the students.  When we did finally arrive, we were met by two correctional facility staff and debriefed us about what we were going to do, and which prisoners we were going to meet.  The prisoners we were going to talk to had been on good behaviour, and were allowed to share their experiences with us.  Not long after the briefing, we were split into two groups, and each took turns in chatting to 3 - 4 prisoners each time round.  Each student had the opportunity to ask anything they wanted, bar questions about famous inmates.  


The first group I was in had four prisoners, two of which were in jail with connections to drug related circumstances, and three of which who were involved in violent crimes.  They each introduced themselves told us about events leading up to their incarceration.  A lot of great questions asked by the Year 11 Legal Studies cohort furthered our knowledge of both the prison system and how the prisoners thought and felt about their crimes.  They shared information on their lifestyle habits in prison; having essentially a small living quarters in which the inmates were able to purchase food commissary goods; (only if they were deemed suitable after being well behaved for a long period of time). However, it was more interesting to hear about how they felt about living in prison. A lot was learnt from the first group about what prison life was really like and gave us an insight into the minds of the prisoners themselves.  Both groups of students then took a quick five-minute break to discuss their findings and then went to talk to the opposite group.

The second group that I was in had seemingly more remorseful prisoners and they too shared their stories.  Two of the three were in for drug related crimes and the third was in for murder.  One noticeable thing about the stories in the second group was that they seemed a lot more consistent than those of the first group’s prisoners. Additionally they were a lot more open and explained a lot more about themselves without being prompted.

Thought provoking questions were asked once again by the BPC students, and insightful answers were given.  “What were your motivations”, “How did you feel in the moment”, and “How did this impact you and your family” are only a handful of the great questions asked by both classes to gain further knowledge of the prison system.  

Finishing up our time at Margoneet, we were debriefed by the corrections facility staff and were given an opportunity to ask questions.  Students decided to take advantage of said opportunity and got an insight into the perspective of those who work at the prison.  We found that most of the time, guards and inmates treated each other with mutual respect and for the most part things went smoothly.  However there were certain instances in which the two were at odds.  According to the officers, it is important that they never let their guard down or show signs of weakness otherwise they can be manipulated.  They left us with a closing statement about how they are glad that they were able to help us in our studies and hoped we got a better insight into the prison system.  Shortly after, we boarded the bus and headed down to McDonald’s to end the day.  We all sat, ate, and discussed our trip to the prison sharing what we learnt with one another.


Overall it was a very insightful experience which proved to be beneficial to my (and hopefully everybody else) knowledge of what it is really like within a prison.


Julian Mazza-Molisso Year 11

BPC What's On!