Newcastle, Australia

You’ve heard of carrying coals to Newcastle. It means doing something worthless, because Newcastle is loaded with coal so why would they need any more?

Of course that expression derived from Newcastle, England. This Newcastle is the coal center of Australia, which is how it got its name.

Anyway there is only so much coal that you can watch in this unattractive city so we went to a recently closed high security prison, Maitland, down the road a bit.

A former inmate gave us the chilling tour. He confirmed what all of us know regardless of political bent – once you start on the road of crime it is tough to stop. He was cynical of politicians, rich people, homeless and even prisoners themselves.

He feels that convicts do not get reformed and why should they since they can’t get work and are too lazy to work anyway. Besides these days they live better in jail then their families do on the outside.

One thing I did agree with was that juvenile offenders ought to be forced to spend time with older convicts who scare them into shaping up. Social workers just don’t have the respect or proper background and understanding.

We learned a couple easy ways to kill people quickly with just things like toilet paper, toothbrushes, and cigarette filters.

We found a nice spot for a photo op on the way back to the ship.

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