A penitentiary was established in 1817 at Milledgeville.
The centres of population are Noumea (Numea), the capital, on a fine harbour of the west coast near the southern extremity of the island, with 7000 inhabitants; Bourail, an agricultural penitentiary (1800); La Foa, in the centre of the coffee plantations; Moindu, St Louis and St Vincent.
Other prominent buildings are the United States court house and post office, the state supreme court house, the county court house, the state penitentiary, the state armoury and the executive mansion.
The note struck first in the Walnut Street penitentiary began a new era in prison treatment, and the methods adopted were destined to extend over the whole world.
The state maintains a penitentiary at Carson City and an insane asylum at Reno.