The federal Bureau of Prisons has been trying to arrange the purchase of Illinois' Thomson Correctional Center for years.
Illinois built the state-of-the-art Thomson prison back in 2001. But the state's deteriorating budget situation meant there was never enough money to run the prison once it was built.
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The federal government wants to buy a prison. The state of Illinois has one to sell. Problem solved, right? Wrong. Before the federal Bureau of Prisons can buy the state's vacant Thomson penitentiary, it needs permission from Congress to shuffle some money around within its budget. But Rep. Frank Wolf, a Virginia Republican who chairs a key subcommittee, refuses to sign off.