Folsom Prison

Folsom Prison

(916) 985-2561

Phone: (916) 985-2561
300 Prison Road
Folsom, CA 95630
Hours of Operation

Visitation Hours

12:00 noon to 7:30 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday:
8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
List of Categories:

The actual address for Folsom Prison is:
300 Prison Rd.
Represa, CA 95671

Represa, CA - The land the prison sits on was given it's own city name and zip code. Represa translated means "dam". All the granite walls of the Folsom Prison were built using the rock excavated during the construction of the Folsom Dam.

Special Historical Notes
The California Legislature authorized the construction of Folsom State Prison in 1858. Twenty years later, in 1878, construction began on one of the nations first maximum-security prisons. On July 26, 1880, Folsom received its first 44 inmates. The inmates were transferred by boat from San Quentin State Prison to Sacramento and then by train from Sacramento to the prison.

Folsom State Prison's location was selected due to an unlimited amount of native granite stone for building the prison.  Also, the American River offered ample water and formed a natural boundary.  Inmate laborers built the first dam and canal on the American River, which led to the first hydroelectric power generation for the Sacramento area.

Originally designed to hold inmates serving long sentences, habitual criminals, and incorrigibles, Folsom State Prison quickly gained the reputation of being the end of the line.  Prior to the completion of the granite wall in the 1920's, the prison witnessed numerous escape attempts; the first one occurring shortly after the first inmates arrived in 1880. Throughout Folsom's violent and bloody history, numerous riots and escape attempts have resulted in both inmate and staff deaths.

The Folsom Museum is located near the entrance of Folsom Prison. Run solely through the support of volunteers, the museum contains an abundance of documents and artifacts from throughout Folsom's long and colorful history.

Arial view of Folsom State Prison

Inmate Programs
  • PIA:  Administration, license plate factory, maintenance, metal fabrication, sign shop, and furniture factory
  • Vocational:  Auto body & fender, auto mechanics, building maintenance, electronics, graphic arts, janitorial, landscape gardening, masonry, mill and cabinet, office services, and welding
  • Academic: Adult Basic Education, High School/GED, English as a Second Language, Literacy Program, Computer Assisted Instruction
  • Other:  Community Service Crews, Youth Diversion Program, Religious Program, Folsom Project for the visually impaired, Arts in Corrections

Youth Diversion Program:
The Youth Diversion Program at Folsom State Prison uses staff and inmates to expose at-risk-youth from the community to the realities of prison life. The program goal is to aid in reducing the number of young people involved in criminal behavior by increasing youth and community awareness and promoting positive alternatives. Young people participating in the program assume the role of an inmate and, as such, are escorted through various areas of the institution. The youth actually experience prison life. The youth interact with carefully screened inmate team members to openly and directly discuss the negative effects of criminal behavior. School districts, probation departments, law enforcement agencies, community organizations, and other concerned groups participate in the program. To date, over 2,500 youth have benefited from this program.

Family Reunification Liaison:
CDCR provides through a contract with a community-based organization an on-site Case Manager as a family reunification liaison for inmates and family members, to assist with an inmate’s pre release preparation; and conduct Parenting and Creative Conflict Resolution classes for inmates.

PEACE for Families:
PEACE for Families is a private, non-profit, community-based organization providing comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Placer County. For more information on the organization, visit:

Visiting Hours and Directions Visitation Guidelines [PDF]

Friday, Saturday and Sunday only.

Friday: 12:00 noon to 7:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Visitor Processing begins 1/2 hour prior to each day's visiting start time and ends 1 hour prior to each day's visiting closing time.  For information regarding Administrative Segregation Appointments or lock-down information, please call Folsom State Prison's main telephone number at (916) 985-2561 and follow the prompts for visiting information.

Visiting Assistance:

A CDCR funded Visitor Center is at the institution operated by a community-based organization under contract to CDCR. The Visitor Center provides visiting assistance to family members and friends including a sheltered place to wait before and after visits, transportation to and from local transit terminals, childcare, clothing appropriate for visits on loan, and information about local resources, visiting rules and regulations.

We encourage all current and prospective candidates to contact us periodically for questions or status updates. Please direct any questions you have to our Customer Service Unit, toll-free, at 1-866-232-5627 or by e-mailing us:


General Directions:

From Sacramento:

  • Take Hwy 50 east to Folsom Blvd exit; turn left on Folsom Blvd
  • Continue 2.7 miles past three traffic lights until you see Natoma Street
  • Turn right on Natoma Street
  • Follow Natoma Street for approximately 1.5 miles through numerous stop signs and traffic lights (note: watch for the Police Station on your left)
  • Pass the Police Station and make a left turn at the next light.  There will be a "Folsom State Prison" sign
  • Follow the Prison Road until you reach the parking lots on your left
    CAUTION:  There is a RIGHT turn on Prison Road at the flag pole. DO NOT turn right unless you intend to go to CSP-Sacramento
  • Park your vehicle in the far left parking lot.  If you have a Handicap License Plate or Placard, there is designated Handicap parking available in the right parking lot
  • The Visitor Processing is the building next to the parking lot.  Please report here for visitor processing
Folsom State Prison is located 25 miles east of Sacramento, and approximately 100 miles northeast of San Francisco. 
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Johnny Cash

Contrary to popular belief Johnny Cash never spent any time in Folsom Prison except to record his popular LP "Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison" where he played in front of a live audience of prisoners (and guards) on January 13, 1968. His song; "Folsom Prison Blues" hit #1 in June 1968 and remained there for 4 weeks.

He’d been playing in prisons for more than 10 years when he recorded his legendary live prison records in San Quentin and Folsom in the late 1960s. “I really was interested in some kind of prison reform,” he said in a 1994 interview, “but I don’t think that’s the answer. The answer is out on the street. Jobs. Opportunities. Racial prejudice is another thing that’s wrong, and a reason for the crime and the drugs, too."

"The whole Johnny Cash story is one of redemption,” he said. “Johnny was wild at heart, just like these men. But just like him, they can change. They can walk the line.

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Folsom Prison

300 Prison Road
Folsom, CA 95630

Phone: (916) 985-2561

Hours of Operation
Visitation Hours

12:00 noon to 7:30 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday:
8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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