THOMSON, Ill. (AP) — A prison in northwestern Illinois will be completely activated by the end of next year, a Bureau of Prisons official said.
The Thomson Administrative U.S. Penitentiary could have up to 600 employees, Sauk Valley Media reported . The government originally had projected that the facility could employ up to 1,100 people.
The facility will be a high-security institution and include some specialized units for inmates who are seriously ill, geriatric or mentally ill, said Hugh Hurwitz, acting director of the Bureau of Prisons.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos and members of Sen. Tammy Duckworth’s staff recently met with Hurwitz to discuss the continued work to activate the prison.
The prison will help address overcrowding in the prison system and spur economic growth in the area, Durbin said. The prison should reduce overcrowding at federal high-security facilities from 25 percent to 19 percent, the Bureau of Prisons said.
The prison has undergone a years-long funding issue. Construction on the prison finished in 2001. It’s sat empty for more than a decade because the state didn’t have the funds to open it. The Bureau of Prisons announced in 2012 that it planned to buy the facility for $165 million.
Renovation work on the facility began in June 2015.