Folsom State Prison is the second oldest facility of its kind in the state of California, only behind San Quentin. Folsom State Prison is located outside of the state capital of Sacramento in the city with the same name. Folsom State Prison opened its doors in 1880, and is one of the first maximum security facilities in the United States. It was also the first facility to have electricity, which may be why it also saw the execution of nearly 100 inmates over a span of just over forty years.
As of ten years ago, the total population housed at the Folsom State Prison was about 4,400 inmates. However, the original plans for the facility on meant to house less than 2,000, making it one of the most overpopulated state prisons in California.
The inmates are separated into five housing units which make up most of the facility of the prison, which cell Unit 1 being one of the most overpopulated cellblocks in the United States, with almost 1,200 inmates. The cells are all constructed to have a toilet, sink, storage space, and bunk beds. There are two dining halls in Folsom State Prison, and a large exercise yard at the center of the facility and two smaller yards.
Even though Folsom State Prison is known to be one of the more hostile prisons in the country, the facility is probably best known due to Johnny Cash’s song titled “Folsom Prison Blues.” Furthermore, Cash also performed twice at the Folsom State Prison, making it one of the most well-known popular culture references to date.