U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says there is continued commitment to opening Thomson Correctional Center. Durbin has asked that funding be included in the FY 2014 budget to transform Thomson from a state prison to a federal one. “Now that the acquisition of Thomson prison is complete, the Department of Justice has begun preparing for its activation and Director Samuels assured us that process is moving forward,” Durbin said.
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“When President Obama releases his budget in the next few weeks, it should include funding for prison activation.” Durbin says there must be a separate line item in the budget for Thomson. In October the federal government purchased Thomson Correctional Center for use as a maximum-security federal prison to alleviate overcrowding in the federal prison system. The federal government’s operation of Thomson is expected to provide a major boost to the local economy and create more than 1,100 jobs. Annual operation of the facility is expected to generate more than $122 million in operating expenditures (including salaries), $19 million in labor income, and $61 million in local business sales.
Durbin says it will likely be next calendar year before hiring for the prison would take place.