Durbin Statement on Thomson Correctional Facility

[SPRINGFIELD, IL] ­ Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) made the following statement regarding the potential acquisition and activation of the state correctional facility in Thomson, Illinois.


"I am pleased the federal government is considering the possible acquisition of the Thomson Correctional Facility from the State of Illinois."


"According to the proposal now under consideration, the Federal Bureau of Prisons would operate the facility as a maximum-security prison with federal inmates and lease a portion to the Defense Department to house fewer than 100 detainees from Guantanamo."


"This move will have a significant positive impact on the local economy. Preliminary estimates show it generating more than 3,000 jobs and potentially injecting more than $1 billion into the local economy over the first four years of operation. 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. We should not let the unsupported and misplaced fears of a few stand in the way of this historic economic boost to our region."


"To those who say U.S. prisons cannot safely hold high risk terror suspects, I say look at the facts: Today in this country, federal prisons securely house approximately 350 inmates convicted of international or domestic terrorism, including 35 currently incarcerated in Illinois."


Note: U.S. prisons hold Ramzi Youssef, Richard Reid, and the "Blind Sheik"

Abdul Rahman, as well as Theodore Kaczynski, Terry Nichols and Ali al-Marri, an al Qaeda sleeper agent convicted earlier this year, who is currently imprisoned at the federal prison in Marion, Illinois.