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Museum to Honor California Prisons Needed?

SACRAMENTO - Assemblywoman Beth Gaines, (R-Roseville), in partnership with the Old Guard Foundation, is urging Governor Jerry Brown to sign Assembly Bill 1503, which would create the opportunity to build a state of the art museum honoring the history of California's correction officers and highlighting the history behind California prisons, with an emphasis on Folsom Prison.

AB 1503 allows the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the Department of General Services (DGS) to enter into a long-term lease for a proposed museum located on what is currently vacant land adjacent to Folsom Prison.

"The current museum space is too small to adequately highlight the history of corrections, honor the men and women of the profession, and help dispel negative stereotypes," said Gaines.

The facility would be built and operated with private donations and would be used to replace the aging, existing museum with a 30,000 square foot contemporary facility. It would be designed specifically for historic displays and archival storage in a structure that meets all building and safety codes, has dedicated parking, and can serve as a broader community asset than the current one-story house.

"This museum is going to honor the contributions that current and former corrections officers have given to California and we're excited Assemblywoman Gaines could help make this happen," said Robert Sleppy, a spokesperson for the Old Guard Foundation.

The facility would include space for displays of artifacts from California state prisons as well as correctional institutions from across the United States, with a special focus on historic Folsom Prison. Features include space for a library/research room, gift shop, training room, and various support areas. The museum would be principally operated by volunteers -- many of which would be former CDCR correctional officers.

"Should the Governor sign AB 1503, we will be able to provide visitors and school children an educational experience of the history of our prison system, and create a national draw that will enhance our local community." said Gaines.

Assemblywoman Beth Gaines represents the 6th Assembly District, which includes portions of Placer, El Dorado, and Sacramento and counties.

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