Durbin, Quinn Reaction to Draft White House Memo on Thomson Correctional Center

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn today issued the following statement after learning of a draft internal Obama Administration memo regarding the Thomson Correctional Center.


“Late this afternoon, we learned of a draft internal Obama Administration memo signaling that the Administration has narrowed its focus to the Thomson Correctional Center to serve as a federal prison. We are told that the Administration has not made its final decision, but that such draft memoranda authorizing federal officials to begin the next steps in an acquisition process such as this are routine.


“Even though the final decision has not been made, we are encouraged by this development. We will continue working with the White House, the Defense Department and the Justice Department to address important questions regarding security and job creation, and finalize this agreement.


“If the acquisition of the Thomson facility moves forward, it will serve as a maximum security correctional facility for the federal Bureau of Prisons and a portion of that facility would be leased to the Defense Department to house a limited number of Guantanamo Bay detainees.


“As we have said many times, this move will have an enormous impact on our state – potentially generating up to 3,800 jobs and potentially injecting more than $1 billion into the regional economy. This is an opportunity to dramatically reduce unemployment, create thousands of good-paying jobs and breathe new economic life into this part of downstate Illinois.”