Thomson Prison is on course to open by the end of 2019.
The prison was built by Illinois in 2001, but state government didn't have enough funds to keep it running. As a result, it was sold to the federal Bureau of Prisons in 2012. The Bureau's Acting Director, Hugh Hurwitz, says it will open as a high-security facility with some specialized units and have up to 600 employees.
U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) says the facility will help bring jobs to Thomson and the surrounding region, while also addressing prison overcrowding. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) agreed, saying he would push for "robust federal funding" to ensure the prison opens up on time and operates "in a safe, responsible, and humane manner."
The two Senators discussed the opening with Hurwitz and were joined by U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-17).