port arthur, located on a remote island, functioned as englands most important prison from 1830 to 1877. many of the buildings have survived and can now be visited.
the port arthur prison claimed to be a 'modern' one! for example, the convicts could participate in church services. however there were wooden barriers between the seats so that they could not talk with each other. altogether the treatments remained to be harsh and brutal.
by the way, there were lots of outside jobs - especially, a lot of work for building roads and bridges had to be done by prisoner teams!
many prison fortifications are still there, as well as the former church, as a ruin.