Gitmo, Illinois?

The Bureau of Prisons may buy Thomson Correctional Center, about 150 miles from Chicago, and use it to house the remaining Guantanamo detainees. Officals will be visiting Monday.

Officials from the department of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security, and the federal Bureau of Prisons will be will be visiting the maximum-security Thomson Correctional Center, about 150 miles west of Chicago, on Monday, the officials said.

... If the Bureau of Prisons purchases the site, it would operate primarily as a federal prison and a portion of it would be leased to the Defense Department to house the Guantanamo detainees, the official said.


ABC has more. The faciilty is new. From the Ill. Dept. of Corrections website:

Thomson Correctional Center is a safe maximum-security environment. Prison design, movement patterns and programming options will allow a strong community of order to be maintained. Inmates will be monitored under constant armed and electronic surveillance. Education, mental health services, recreation and skilled development will be available to inmates as mandatory and or voluntary programming options. These choices, under professional guidance, are opportunities for inmates to enrich their lives with the tools necessary for successful living.

Thomson Correctional Center is a Level 1 adult male maximum-security facility comprised of 1,600 cells and eight housing units. The facility also has a 200-bed minimum-security unit. The facility is 146 acres and consists of 15 buildings, totaling 625,000 square feet. Construction in the cell houses is pre-cast, reinforced cement walls. The facility is enclosed by a 12-foot exterior fence and 15-foot interior fence, which includes a dual sided electric stun fence.

Thomson was built in 2001 to ease overcrowding. It never opened due to state budget problems. Some minimum-security inmate have been sent there.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Bringin' it to the heartland. (none / 0) (#1)
    by ChiTownDenny on Sat Nov 14, 2009 at 07:31:45 PM EST
    Um, bring it on. What say you, Webb? The central Illinois farmers will buck up and allow Obama to FINALLY (!!!) fulfill a campaign promise.

    So Close to Kansas (none / 0) (#2)
    by bob h on Sun Nov 15, 2009 at 06:14:28 AM EST
    Brownback and Roberts will wet their beds.

    LOL! (none / 0) (#11)
    by Zorba on Sun Nov 15, 2009 at 06:31:51 PM EST
    It's not very close to Kansas- it's in northwestern Illinois, along the Mississippi River.  Lots of farming, fishing, and hunting there- I would venture to guess that if the heavily rural locals are anything like the locals in my rural area, most of them are armed, and if anyone did escape from the prison, they wouldn't get very far.  Personally, I'd prefer that the detainees at Gitmo who are not going to be tried in either a civilian or military court, just be released.  But since many of them cannot go back to their own countries, I don't see the United States letting them live here, not with all the hysteria from politicians.  Politicians, especially Republicans and conservative Democrats, talk tough, but when push comes to shove, they really are frightened babies.    

    Still confusing (none / 0) (#3)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Nov 15, 2009 at 10:28:53 AM EST
    There are about 215 men held by the U.S. military at the Guantanamo prison camp. Among the detainees are five suspects with alleged ties to the 9/11 conspiracy, including accused mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who will be transferred to New York to go on trial in civilian court, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Friday.

    How many of these detainees have been charged with something? How long do they intend to keep them imprisoned?

    This "state of the art" facility has been vacant for 8 years...how much repair is it going to require from sitting for so long? Nice that we taxpayers can help Illinois so much. What's the pricetag for just 215 men who should probably have already been released? The prison needs just another 1400 federal prisoners to make this a worthwhile investment.


    How about states with troubled economies (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Cream City on Sun Nov 15, 2009 at 10:47:05 AM EST
    and needing job creation?  Illinois is not one of those states; Obamaland is doing well.

    But, isn't the demand of the people in (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Nov 15, 2009 at 11:19:33 AM EST
    closing Gitmo focused on either charge these men with something or let them go? This plan is to simply move Gitmo.

    If this ends up in that over-sized, high priced facility in Illinois it does seem to me that Obama will never be able to claim that he doesn't make his decisions and policies based on who he feels he owes something to....and, unfortunately, the individuals who gave him their votes don't seem to rate high enough against all those dollars and introductions that carried him to his latest goal.


    They already explored a lot of states (none / 0) (#6)
    by Politalkix on Sun Nov 15, 2009 at 11:07:05 AM EST
    Michigan, South Carolina, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, come to mind easily. But politicians in most states scare easily. It might just be better to house them in a true blue state, get the politics out of the way, move to other things and let justice take its course.

    Michigan is not a true-blue state now? (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Cream City on Sun Nov 15, 2009 at 11:11:44 AM EST
    Then the Dems are in worse trouble. . . .

    Michigan was exactly the state I was thinking of, with the worst economy.  Put it up in the UP -- in Stupak-land.


    There are other facilities (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Nov 15, 2009 at 12:07:36 PM EST
    that are much closer to meeting the limited needs of housing 200 inmates for a short period of time.

    Michigan (none / 0) (#9)
    by Politalkix on Sun Nov 15, 2009 at 11:44:51 AM EST
    is getting federal help in other ways. It will be constructive IMO to imagine that Michigan is not a true blue state yet and keep working to make it one.
    If it is not Illinois, I would prefer New York or Vermont (though I do not know whether Vermont has any existing facilities that may meet the requirements).

    Will this count as a promise fulfilled? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Nov 15, 2009 at 10:44:40 AM EST
    Closing Gitmo?

    Feds use the taxpayer money to purchase a facility that is 8 times bigger than needed just to move the prisoners out of Gitmo, then we pay civilians to run it and pick up all the costs of operation.

    Someone help me see the logic in this idea.

    He never said .. (none / 0) (#12)
    by nyrias on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 11:42:12 AM EST
    he will let everyone go .. did he?