St. Louis Public Radio News
8:18 am
Tue December 15, 2009

Feds will acquire Illinois prison to house GITMO detainees

Thomson, Ill. – The White House plans to announce today that a rural Illinois prison will be acquired by the federal government to become the new home for a limited number of Guantanamo Bay detainees.

Administration officials, Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Governor Pat Quinn will make the announcement at the White House.

They said President Barack Obama has directed the government to acquire the Thomson Correctional Center in Thomson, Ill., a small town near the Mississippi River about 150 miles west of Chicago.

A spokesman for Durbin's office said the facility would house federal inmates and no more than 100 detainees.

The plans have drawn criticism from many Republicans, some of whom said housing terrorism suspects in Illinois will put Chicago at a greater risk for a terrorist attack.