Rep. Schilling, Sen. Kirk and Rep. Manzullo Tour Thomson Prison

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Congressman Bobby Schilling yesterday joined U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Congressman Don Manzullo (IL-16) on a tour of the Thomson Correctional Facility, Schilling's first tour of the prison since taking office in January. The tour follows a letter sent by Illinois Republican lawmakers to President Barack Obama on March 10 in which they seek a firm commitment from the Administration to abandon all efforts to relocate detainees from Guantanamo Bay Detention Center to Thomson. Such a commitment would give Congress the confidence to approve funds that would purchase Thomson from the State of Illinois for use as a federal maximum-security prison.

"My tour of Thomson reinforced my belief that the facility is best used as a federal prison. It is of utmost importance that this top-notch facility be opened up," Schilling said. "Doing so will help relieve our overcrowded federal prison system and provide jobs in Illinois, all while ensuring our national security and public safety remain intact."

Schilling, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, traveled to Guantanamo Bay on January 17 to examine the facility's conditions firsthand. An outspoken opponent of using the Thomson facility to house detainees, his trip to GITMO confirmed his belief that terrorists should not be housed on American soil.

"I am determined to ensure that detainees remain in GITMO, and not be transferred  to the United States or to Thomson, Illinois. I encourage President Obama and the Administration to guarantee they will abandon efforts to move these terrorists to Thomson, and give Congress the confidence it needs to continue on with the purchase of the Thomson Correctional Facility from the State of Illinois."