Jacobs welcomes Schilling to battle

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Senator Mike Jacobs (D-Moline) is welcoming Congressman Bob Schilling to the fight to get the Thomson Prison’s sale to the federal government finalized.

“Thomson Prison has sat empty since it was built in 2001.  The process of selling the facility started over two years ago and has been held up by Republicans in Congress.  Federal funding for the purchase of Thomson has been included in the Bureau of Prisons budget, which has yet to be approved,” stated Senator Jacobs.  “The sale, which I have been working on, will provide Illinois with an additional $180 million that could go to help us balance the state budget.”

Senator Jacobs went on to say that the sale of Thomson will provide a boost to the local economy.  The refurbishment of the prison will require local labor and products as well as housing, and everything else that comes with a population influx.  In addition, there could be hundreds of long term jobs once the prison is open and housing federal prisoners.

The prison in Thomson, located just north of the Quad-Cities, was built by then Governor George Ryan between 1999 and 2001.  For a short time the facility was used to house minimum-security prisoners, however on April 30, 2010 Thomson prison was closed because there is not enough money available to keep the facility open or staff the prison. The state has been trying to sell the prison to the federal government, but the deal has gotten tangled in red tape and politics since 2010.