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Where Thieves Go to Die: Folsom Prison

October 29, 2009

folsom prison final frontgate

Folsom Prison

Folsom Prison is California’s second oldest prison. Established in 1880 and known for its harsh treatment of prisoners during the California Gold Rush, Folsom began making a name for itself. Inmates would spend most of their time in the dark behind solid boiler plate doors in stone cells measuring 4 feet by 8 feet with a 6 inch eye slot. Air holes were drilled into the cell doors in the 1940s, and the cell doors are still used today.

Folsom is well known for the series of concerts Johnny Cash held at the facility, but it  was also the first prison in the world to have electrical power, and is the manufacturer of most Californian license Plates since the 1930’s.


Folsom Prison houses  approximately 3,400 inmates, divided into different Unit. Unit 1 is the most populated cellblock in the United States holding 1,200 prisoners behind bars.

This prison has has many notoriuos and famous visitors. Here’s the list

Sonny Barger, Leader of Hell’s Angels

Suge Knight, founder and owner of Death Row Records

Rick James, Superfreak

Danny Trejo, Machete

-Timothy Leary, LSD advocate

Charles Manson, Cult figure, Musician


Folsom Walls


Inside Folsom


Sam, the life size mannequin rocking Folsom issued couture in the Folsom Museum.


Old Folsom Prison


William Burke Revisits Folsom



Old Death House


Greystone Chapel


Johnny Cash singing to inmates at Folsom during the epic concert given in the facility’s cafeteria in 1968.




Cash singing “Cocaine Blues”



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