On Tuesday, the administration will announce that the president has directed that the federal government proceed with the acquisition of the Thomson Correctional Center in Thomson, Illinois to house federal inmates and a limited number of detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Ed Tibbetts of the Quad-City Times has more details:
In addition to the detainees, several hundred federal prisoners will be moved to the Thomson facility, which was built in 2001 to house state prisoners but has instead stood nearly empty as local officials have vainly tried to fill it. […]
The prison, if the deal goes through, will be run by the federal Bureau of Prisons, according to the administration’s plan. The agency is expected to bring 1,600 to 2,000 prisoners to the Thomson facility.
Authorities will also spend some time bulking up security.
The federal Bureau of Prisons will add razor wire between the existing double fences and beef up the existing fence detection system. The Defense Department, which would lease a portion of the facility, would also erect another perimeter fence around the 146-acre complex, according to plans.
The administration has said it would exceed security at the country’s only “Supermax” prison in Colorado.
It’s not clear precisely how many foreign detainees would be brought to Thomson, though [Senator Dick] Durbin [of Illinois] has put the number at less than 100.
Get ready for more Republican scare tactics aimed at undermining Representative Bruce Braley, who represents the Clinton area, just across the Mississippi River from Thomson. I doubt the Iowa GOP will get much traction from this issue, though. The Des Moines Register’s conservative columnist, John Carlson, recently found broad support in Clinton for the plan to expand the Thomson facility.
Braley said last month that his constituents “have told me with a resounding voice they want these jobs to come to their area.”