Folsom State Prison
Folsom State Prison is a California State Prison located in the city of Folsom, California, 20 miles northeast from the state capital of Sacramento. Opened in 1880, Folsom is the second-oldest prison in the state of California. Folsom was one of the first maximum security prisons, and as such witnessed the execution of 93 condemned prisoners over a 42-year period. It is possibly best known in popular culture for two concerts performed at the facility by musician Johnny Cash in the late 1960s and held Rich James as a prisoner. Its current warden is Rick Hill. “…And I ain't seen the sunshine since I don't know when, I'm stuck in Folsom prison, and time keeps draggin' on…” – Johnny Cash, Folsom Prison Blues. In the 1860′s, the Livermore family decided the American River at Folsom was an ideal location for development of water-generated power to operate a sawmill and other industrial plants. The site for Folsom Prison was chosen not only because of the availability of the land, but also because of the close proximity to the American River for hydro energy and the abundance of good quality granite nearby which could be excavated for the prison site. After the dam was completed, in the late 1880’s they realized that the dam can be used to turn on generators to produce electricity for Sacramento, which was 22 miles down the stream. The Folsom Powerhouse began transmission of electric power July 13, 1895. Though Folsom Prison is what made the city famous, it’s barely an afterthought to residents these days. The occasional lineup whistle is a daily reminder that a prison still stands in city limits, but it’s easy to forget that a maximum-security prison is contained within the city. Folsom State Prison opened in 1880 and covers 40 acres and must employee many to keep in running smoothly and properly. It currently employees 643 custody officers, 236 support services staff, and 162 medical staff,...
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