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updated: 10/7/2012 11:56 AM

Thomson eager to push forward after prison sale

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  • The sale of Thomson prison could bring up to 1,600 inmates and just as many jobs to struggling Thomson, where fewer than 600 people reside. The prison was built in the 1990s but never fully opened due to state budget shortfalls.

      The sale of Thomson prison could bring up to 1,600 inmates and just as many jobs to struggling Thomson, where fewer than 600 people reside. The prison was built in the 1990s but never fully opened due to state budget shortfalls.
    Associated Press file photo

 
Associated Press

THOMSON, Ill. -- Residents of a small northwest Illinois village say they're eager for economic opportunities after the sale of a prison to the federal government.

The Chicago-Sun Times reported that the sale of Thomson Correctional Center could bring up to 1,600 inmates and just as many jobs to struggling Thomson, where fewer than 600 people reside.

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The U.S. Bureau of Prisons will pay $165 million for the facility and convert it into a maximum-security prison estimated to generate about $200 million annually in economic activity. Thomson was built in the 1990s but never fully opened due to state budget shortfalls.

Some Republicans have blasted the sale saying it could "set in motion" a plan to house suspected terrorists.

Democrats rebuked those claims saying that treaties bar such action.

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