Thomson Correctional Center

West Carroll C.U.S.D. #314

More than two dozen West Carroll Middle School students on an annual field trip  to Thomson, Ill., were taken to area hospitals Thursday after exposure to tear gas from the nearby Administrative United States Penitentiary.

About 40 seventh-grade students from the school were on the trip north of the prison when the wind shifted. That blew gas being used in a prison training exercise some distance away over the students and accompanying staff. When some complained of discomfort due to eye, nose and throat irritation, emergency personnel were called in.  

Voices for Creative Non-Violence /

A 125-mile walk from Chicago to Thomson ends Saturday for a group protesting solitary confinement. 

Voices for Creative Non-Violence holds a rally outside Thomson Prison, where the federal government plans to add as many as 19-hundred isolation cells. The group’s co-coordinator Kathy Kelly says she hopes Thomson residents will join their rally.  She says she sees this as “the beginning of an opportunity to learn more from people in this little town of 600.”

Jenna Dooley

There’s activity at a long-dormant prison in northwest Illinois. Residents in Thomson have lived more than a decade in limbo waiting for it to open. Now, it’s time.

Ready for Change

At a recent prayer service in Thomson, longtime resident Arlene Eslinger says she has a lot on her heart these days. She says residents are getting older. People want change, but Eslinger fears Thomson isn’t prepared for an influx of prison workers and their families.

Thomson Could Be Ready In Two Years

Apr 11, 2013
Thomson Correctional Center

A northern Illinois prison could reopen in two years.  President Obama's budget proposal includes $166 million dollars for the Thomson Correctional Center and two other prisons. if fully funded by Congress, the proposal would cover the cost of upgrades, equipment, and staffing at the facility.

Light At The End Of Tunnel For Thomson Opening

Feb 11, 2013
Mike Moen

Federal officials are taking initial steps in their plans to open the Thomson Correctional Center. They say they’re eager to activate the modern, but little-used facility, which was sold by the state of Illinois last fall. As the process unfolds, people in and around Thomson are guarded in their optimism about the economic jolt the prison is expected to provide.