Lawmaker says Illinois should "give" Thomson prison to federal government

Aug 20, 2012

The state of Illinois is still trying to sell Thomson prison to the federal government. One lawmaker wants Governor Pat Quinn to consider giving it away.

Republican State Representative Jim Sacia says while the pending sale of the vacant prison remains stalled in Congress, economic growth remains stagnant in the area surrounding Thomson. Sacia says the state prison, which was built but never opened, needs to be up and running immediately.

"Let's do something.  Let's put 1,000 people to work" Sacia said.

Sacia's legislative district does not include Thomson, but it's very close. He's co-authored a letter with another lawmaker from the area. They're urging the governor to essentially hand over the correctional center to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Under the proposal, the prison would have to open right away. The federal government would also have to pay off the remaining mortgage of $61-million. 

The governor's office issued a statement suggesting that Quinn remains committed to selling the facility.