Feds agree to buy Thomson Correctional Center

May 18, 2011

Associated Press

Two state lawmakers say the federal government has agreed to buy the unused Thomson Correctional Center for $165 million.

State Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, and Rep. Richard Morthland, R-Cordova, say Gov. Pat Quinn has reached agreement with the Obama administration. Quinn's office and federal officials both say negotiations continue. A U.S. Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman says a deal depends on Congress appropriating the money.

Morthland says $165 million is a good price. It's less than the $220 million appraisal but more than the $140 million the state paid to build it in 2001. The state has had no money to fully open and operate the prison in northwestern Illinois.

Some congressmen remain concerned that terrorist suspects will be housed there, although U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said they won't.