Tue, May 15 2012 09:38
Ever since I watched "Escape from Alcatraz" as a young girl, I've been fascinated with the prison system. I've watched umpteen episodes of "Cops", my DVR is set to record every episode of "Jail", and my first night tour of Alcatraz made me feel like a kid in a candy store.
Don't get me wrong...I don't want to ever go to prison, at least not in the traditional sense. But I'd tour any penitentiary that allowed it. I just have no interest in a daily routine consisting of uncomfortable bedding, chilly temperatures, bland cuisine, and, in the case of Folsom prisoners in the 1880s, having to dump my bucket of "night waste" into a communal drain tunnel right before breakfast. Finger foods, anyone?
Folsom has enjoyed a long history since the late 1880s when it was constructed to relieve the overcrowding at San Quentin. Like most facilities, it has seen escape attempts and deaths of both prisoners and prison employees alike. Death by hanging was common there until 1942. The prison even hosted several live performances by country star Johnny Cash.
Museum admission is a mere two bucks, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting several charitable organizations. Watch a video portraying everyday prison life, take a look at a mock cell, and inspect a wall of confiscated homemade weapons.
On your way home, drive safely, ensuring at least one more night in a warm, comfy bed.