THOMSON -- The federal Bureau of Prisons has allocated nearly $54 million to begin opening the Thomson Correctional Center in the northwest part of Illinois.
About $10 million will be used to renovate the maximum-security penitentiary that was a state prison that never fully opened because of budget constraints.
The additional $43.7 million will be used for staffing and equipment.
Fully activating the prison that the state sold to the federal government is expected to take two years. The project will cost about $25 million for upgrades and renovations and about $170 million for equipment and staffing.
Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Cheri Bustos (BOO'-stohs) announced the funding Thursday.
In a statement, Durbin says it's "a significant investment in the economic future of Northern Illinois."