Durbin is currently working with the State of Illinois and the Obama Administration to reprogram already appropriated funding within the Department of Justice (DOJ) that can be used to purchase the prison and open it as a maximum-security federal facility.
“Attorney General Eric Holder today confirmed under oath that no matter what is stated in law, the Obama Administration will not seek to transfer detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Thomson Correction Center in Illinois,” said Durbin. “This should erase any doubt in the minds of Members of Congress who are opposed to housing detainees on U.S. soil. It’s time to move forward on a bipartisan basis to open this prison and create over 1,000 jobs in Northwest Illinois.”
The sale of Thomson enjoys bipartisan support from members of the Illinois and Iowa Congressional Delegations as well as broad-based local and state support. Sale of the facility will lead to significant job creation, more than 1,100 jobs, and inject at least $1 billion into the region’s economy. The DOJ believes that the acquisition of Thomson will help alleviate serious federal prison overcrowding, currently running as high as 50 percent over rated capacity, and help increase the safety of the system’s prison guards.