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By Lt. Tony Quinn, AA/Public Information Officer
California State Prison, Sacramento
Photos by Television Specialist Terry Bolin, SAC
and Office Technician Linda Tucker, Folsom SP
Hidden among the tree-lined hills of Folsom is another little city of which not many residents are aware.
The City of Represa is home to two of the state’s most prominent adult male institutions: Folsom State Prison and California State Prison, Sacramento (SAC). Folsom Prison is known for its rich history dating back to the mid-to-late 1800s. SAC, as it is more commonly referred to, is known for providing care and treatment to inmates who suffer from mental illness and have proven to be problems at other institutions, and those serving longer sentences.
On Oct. 6, SAC celebrated its 30-year anniversary. Hundreds of medical and custody staff members were in attendance along with acting Warden David Baughman, CDCR Undersecretary Ralph Diaz, Director of the Division of Adult Institutions Kathleen Allison and Associate Director Sandra Alfaro. Also in attendance were honored guests and former SAC Wardens Theo White, Cheryl Pliler, James “Jimmy” Walker, Tim Virga and current Deputy Director Jeff Macomber.
The event began with the raising of a U.S. flag, which was flown over the Pentagon prior to being donated to Warden Baughman and the employees at SAC by retired Lieutenant Colonel and current CEO of Medical, Michael Felder, followed by the playing of the National Anthem. Keynote speaker, Undersecretary Diaz, followed with a speech in which he stated, “An institution is not made by the walls and bricks made to construct it or by the events that occur there. It is made by the people who work there, their efforts and their sacrifices.”
Speaking on behalf of the former wardens was Theo White, noted as SAC’s second warden (from February 1993 through July 1997). Warden White was preceded by the late Robert “Bob” Borg who administered both Folsom and SAC from 1986 until 1992.
Closing speaker Warden Baughman spoke of “growing up” with the staff during his 26 years at SAC. He addressed the institution’s rich history, the many challenges the institution has faced in recent years due to its complex mission, and his excitement of facing the challenges moving forward into the next 30 years.
Correctional Officer Frank Neri was one of the first 150 officers assigned to SAC and is the only one of the original 150 to remain at SAC since the very day the doors were opened. With 31 years as a CO under his belt, he was on hand sharing his knowledge and experience. Officer Neri’s quiet demeanor, established work ethic, and rapport with his peers and the inmate population are a reflection of his character and a few of the many reasons he is loved and respected by so many.
Warden Baughman and all of the women and men at California State Prison-Sacramento, thanked Officer Frank Neri for his 30 years of dedicated service.