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Yatala Labour Prison
Yatala prison rear 2008.JPG
Rear of the prison complex
Location Peter Brown Drive, Northfield, South Australia
Coordinates 34°50′40″S 138°37′43″E / 34.84444°S 138.62861°E / -34.84444; 138.62861Coordinates: 34°50′40″S 138°37′43″E / 34.84444°S 138.62861°E / -34.84444; 138.62861
Status Operational
Security class Maximum security
Capacity 468
Opened 1854
Closed Currently active
Managed by South Australian, Department for Correctional Services

Yatala Labour Prison is a high-security men's prison located in the north-eastern part of the northern suburb Northfield in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. It was built in 1854 to enable prisoners to work at Dry Creek, quarrying rock for roads and construction. Originally known as The Stockade of Dry Creek or just The Stockade, it acquired its current name from a local Kaurna word relating to inundation by water, which was used for the Hundred of Yatala.

The prison has been expanded many times but still has functioning buildings that date to the 1850s. It remains Adelaide's main male prison and although it was scheduled to be closed by 2011, it has remained open due to the Global Financial Crisis leading to a lack of funding for a replacement prison.

Geography and naming

Yatala prison, originally called "The Stockade" or "The Stockade of Dry Creek" when established in 1854, was named after the cadastral Hundred of Yatala. The word is presumed to refer to the flooded state of the plain either side of Dry Creek after heavy rain, the Kaurna name referring to water or inundation. The prison was renamed Yatala Labour Prison sometime before 1860. It is known as a labour prison by virtue of its vast industries complex and the use of convict labour in construction.

It is sited in Adelaide's northern suburb of Northfield, 10 kilometres (6 mi) north of Adelaide's central business district and between Grand Junction Road and Dry Creek. The prison sits on an escarpment of the Para Fault Block overlooking the Adelaide plains. Dry Creek, a watercourse usually dry in summer, flows through a deep gully immediately north of the prison boundary. It features outcrops of exposed pre-Cambrian rocks that were once extensively quarried as part of prison activity.

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