Point Puer

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‘Puer’: /ˈpu.er/ – Latin for boy

Point Puer is a boy’s prison across the bay from Port Arthur. Opening in 1834, the first intake of Point Puer boys were those who were of no use elsewhere. The boys here were from Britain; they were used to seeing crowded buildings, not naturalistic open spaces. These boys, if behaved well, were allowed to choose a trade which could help them once they left prison. If behaved badly, these boys were either punished with floggings using the cat o’ nine tails, or kept in a small dark cell in silence for days without human contact.

The aim was to train the boys to become adults which could benefit society. But how many of those boys actually grew to do something worthwhile with their lives?

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