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Thomson Prison Sale Rejected Again

By aaroncynic in News on Jul 28, 2012 8:45PM

Interior of the Thomson Correctional Center

Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf once again rejected a request to move forward with the hotly contested sale of the Thomson prison in western Illinois. According to the State Journal-Register, Wolf quickly rejected the sale of the prison, which at one time the Obama Administration wanted to use to house detainees from Guantanamo Bay. Though the President has assured critics that the sale of the facility would be used to ease overcrowding in the federal prison system, Wolf said in a letter to the Justice Department, who made the request on Thursday, that he did not trust the administration's promises.

“Frankly, I do not trust the Department or the Administration to enforce the law forbidding the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States,” read part of Wolf's letter. Wolf is a 16-term congressman, who chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the federal Bureau of Prisons.

Both Sen. Dick Durbin and Gov. Pat Quinn sent letters to Wolf Friday urging him to drop his opposition to the vacant facility, located about 50 miles northeast of the Quad Cities. Rep. Bobby Schilling of the district containing Thomson, and Rep. Dave Loebsack, from a nearby Iowa district, also criticized Wolf's opposition to the sale and opening of the facility.

The prison's proponents have long argued that opening the prison means jobs for plenty of people in the economically depressed area. In his statement, Durbin said “Congressman Wolf is prepared to sacrifice over 1,000 jobs, which we desperately need, to flex his political muscle.”