Last week, Year 9 Legal and Political Systems students embarked on an historical exploration of Victoria’s legal system with a visit to the Old Melbourne Gaol, Old Watch House, and Old Magistrates’ Court. Students deepened their knowledge of crime and sentencing through seeing the harsh realities of life behind bars and listening to the stories of notorious inmate experiences and attempted escapes.

Visiting the Watch House provided students with the unique opportunity to step into the shoes of both prisoners and police officers. Students underwent the process of admission, from fingerprinting to mugshots, experiencing firsthand the procedures of law enforcement in colonial Melbourne.

Finally, students participated in a court room role play, taking on key parts in the legal process. Students consolidated their understanding of court procedures, sentencing and how the court system applies laws to determine how justice might be achieved for victims and perpetrators.

Sarah Hobbs