Illinois Prison Will Take Gitmo Inmates
Prison nearly empty, unemployment brutal in rural Thomson
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2009 10:29 PM CST
Updated Dec 15, 2009 6:43 AM CST
An aerial view of the Thomson (Ill.) Correctional Center.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – A nearly vacant prison in a western Illinois town where unemployment is over 10% will be the new home of as many as 100 current Guantanamo Bay detainees. An announcement of the president's decision to acquire the 8-year-old jail is expected today, the Chicago Tribune reports. Gov. Pat Quinn and Sen. Dick Durbin campaigned hard to bring new inmates to Thomson, near the border with Iowa.

The decision came over the vociferous objections of Illinois Republicans, who argued that the presence of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay could make the state a target for terrorists. The facility, once acquired and upgraded, will house federal inmates as well as the Gitmo detainees.