The Diamantina Reformatory School for Boys, run by the government, opened at South Brisbane on 1 October 1899 when boys from the Reformatory School at Lytton were transferred to this facility. Boys under the age of 18, who were confined by the Children's Court, were sent to the Diamantina Reformatory School for Boys. In 1900 the boys were again transferred to Toowoomba and the instituion was named the Westbrook Reformatory for Boys.
Industrial and reformatory schools were established for the purpose of segregating neglected and convicted juveniles from adult prisoners.
Boys under the age of 18 years were sentenced to a term of confinement at the reformatory by Children's Courts. It appears that some boys were transferred to orphanages before the expiration of their sentences. Parents of neglected and convicted inmates were required to contribute financially to the maintenance of their sons whilst in the reformatory.
When the decision was made to move the reformatory to Toowoomba, the boys were accommodated at the Diamantina Reformatory School for Boys while the buildings from the Lytton site were dismantled, transported to Toowoomba and re-erected.
The Reformatory was under the supervision of a Superintendent and a Visiting Justice. Both the Visiting Justice and the Superintendent reported directly to the Home Secretary.
An article in the Brisbane Courier on 28 November 1899 reported that Francis Ann Richmond was appointed Matron of the Diamantina Reformatory School for Boys on 25 November 1899.
The Honorary B B Moreton was appointed as visiting justice to the Diamantina Reformatory School for Boys and Mr C J H Wray as visiting surgeon. Mr McGladrigan was engaged as chief warder and assistant teacher, and J Greig was to fill the role as senior warder.
1871 - 1881 Reformatory School for Boys - Hulk Proserpine
1881 - 1899 Reformatory School for Boys, Lytton
1899 - 1900 Diamantina Reformatory School for Boys
1900 - 1919 Westbrook Reformatory for Boys
1919 - 1966 Farm Home for Boys, Westbrook
1966 - 1987 Westbrook Training Centre
1987 - 1993 Westbrook Youth Centre
1993 - 1994 Westbrook Youth Detention Centre
1994 - 2012 Darling Downs Correctional Centre
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Diamantina Reformatory School for Boys (Agency ID 11372)', in Queensland State Archives website, Queensland Government, 2004 - 2013, http://www.archivessearch.qld.gov.au/Search/AgencyDetails.aspx?AgencyId=11372.
Prepared by: Lee Butterworth
Created: 14 February 2013, Last modified: 12 June 2014