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Durbin, Bustos urge funding for Thomson prison

Published: Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 3:30 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 3:51 p.m. CDT
(SVM file photo)
In this May 21, 2010, file photo, a van drives past the Thomson Correctional Center in Thomson. Funding to activate the Thomson facility is included in an Omnibus Appropriations bill filed Monday. The bill now must be approved by both the U.S. House and Senate and then signed by President Obama.

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Two members of Illinois congressional delegation are asking President Barack Obama to continue funding efforts to activate the Thomson Correctional Center in the northwest part of the state.

Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Cheri Bustos sent the letter Thursday. It reports that the first year of activation funding is available and urges Obama to include the second year in the budget plan expected to be released next week.

The Democrats write that the Bureau of Prisons estimates that getting the prison ready to operate will cost $25 million for construction and related upgrades and $170 million for staffing and equipment.

The penitentiary was completed as an Illinois state prison in 2001 but never fully opened because of state budget constraints. Illinois sold the prison to the federal government.

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