Now What? California Prison Records
6/11/2014
How do I go about looking for old prison records in California without spending a lot of money?
Q. How do I go about looking for old prison records in California without spending a lot of money?

A. An easy -- and free -- place to start is the Online Archive of California. A quick search of the catalog for prison reveals a range of materials, including California State Prison at San Quentin records, 1851-1910, San Quentin Folsom Prison Index 1910, and even a reward poster for escapees from Folsom in 1890. Only a few of these collections are online, but this statewide catalog can direct you to the repository holding the actual records, such as the state library or historical society.