The first three attempts to establish a mining colony on this geologically abundant planet met with disaster. Within Confederate territory, New Folsom was the richest source of the catalytic elements required to forge neosteel, and the government was determined to establish a foothold on the planet’s volcanic surface. A team of experts, materials specialists, and terraforming engineers was conscripted for this task, and it spent long months designing a platform system that would flex and shift with New Folsom’s volatile crust – all while providing a habitat that was “minimally survivable” for a human workforce. The project went ahead at no small cost in credits and lives: the New Folsom Confederate Mine was constructed on one of the stabler lava lakes on the planet, and it was soon producing the materials necessary for the Confederacy to begin building a new fleet of battlecruisers.
It was not long after the mine’s completion that those same catalytic elements were discovered on the distant (but much more hospitable) worlds of the Sara system. The expensive facility on New Folsom was suddenly viewed as a colossal waste of government funds. It was quickly given a new purpose; the Confederacy’s financial analysts couldn’t let such an expensive investment sit unused for long.
The government needed a place to put people – people who were dangerous, enemies to the Confederacy, but too valuable (or popular) to kill. New Folsom provided the perfect opportunity. The mine was easily transformed into a high-security prison, one where the very planet itself provided lethal punishment for escapees. With free labor to work the mine’s machinery – requiring only a minimal guard staff and robotic sentries – New Folsom now serves two purposes: it is an inexpensive source of important materials and a torturous political prison. The mere threat of being sent to New Folsom is enough to frighten many would-be rebels.
The Dominion continues the use of New Folsom Prison, even though many of the regime’s founders from the Sons of Korhal spent hard time there during their rebellion against the Confederacy. Regardless of your political stripe, it would seem the ability to threaten your enemies with incarceration in a hellish inferno is too powerful to refuse.