Durbin, Bustos: Bureau of Prisons To Commit $58.7 Million in FY2015 Funding To Thomson Prison

During meeting in Washington, Federal Bureau of Prisons Director confirms that Thomson prison activation process remains on track

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Following a meeting with the Director of the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Prisons, Charles Samuels, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (IL-17) announced that the agency will commit a total of $58.7 million in funding to the activation of Thomson Correctional Center in Thomson, Illinois. The funding was approved by Congress in December as part of the Omnibus Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2015.

Of the $58.7 million in funding, $15 million is designated for construction activities while $43.7 million will be used for staffing and equipment purchases and upgrades.  This funding will allow the activation of Thomson prison to continue on schedule and is in addition to the $53.7 million in funding that was committed to the project following the passage of the Omnibus Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2014 in January of last year. 

“We have great news for Thomson, Illinois yet again,” said Durbin.  “This steady funding stream and solid commitment from the Obama Administration will keep the activation of Thomson prison on track.  As activity at and around the prison continues to pick up speed, I am looking forward to seeing the progress and new economic activity first-hand very soon.  I want to thank Congresswoman Bustos who has been a great partner in the effort to make certain this prison is up and running.”

“Director Samuels’ commitment today to continue the activation of Thomson prison is tremendous news for our region’s economy,” said Bustos. “With hiring underway for local workers, and with the first group of inmates set to arrive this spring, full activation is on the horizon. I will continue to work with Senator Durbin and the Bureau of Prisons to ensure this job-creating facility continues to get the support it needs to fully open.” 

In today’s meeting, Durbin and Bustos learned that the Bureau of Prisons has 135 employees currently working at Thomson prison and anticipates having 300 employees working there by the end of September 2015.  As reports earlier this month have suggested, the Bureau of Prisons anticipates that roughly 200 minimum-security prisoners will begin being moved to Thomson prison this spring.  Once Thomson prison is fully activated, the Bureau of Prisons anticipates a total of 1,100 employees at the facility. 


The President’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budget proposal called for the continued activation of Thomson prison in order to help alleviate overcrowding in the federal prison system.  Durbin and Bustos will continue working to make certain that the Obama Administration remains committed to the activation of Thomson prison; that the next Congressional Appropriations bill includes robust funding for Thomson prison; and that Thomson is operated in a responsible and humane manner that protects the safety and rights of both prison staff and inmates.


A photos of today’s meeting is available HERE.