Darlington Probation Station

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Under the probation system of the 1840s, convicts were withdrawn from private service and congregated in government stations. Probation stations were established at Darlington (1842-1850) and Point Lesueur (1845-1850). The agricultural work required to maintain over 400 acres of crops, largely kept the men busy.

Darlington Probation Station opened on Maria Island off the East Coast of Tasmania (Van Diemen’s Land) in 1842. From 1825 to 1832, it had operated as The Maria Island convict station to punish secondary offenders and runaways. The new station was to focus on ‘progressive’ ideas for the management and treatment of convicts. Until 1850, newly arrived prisoners were classified according to their crimes and conduct, and worked in the clothing, shoe making and carpentry workshops.