Rumors that Thomson could become the new Gitmo have been flying over the last several months, said Lori Laidlaw, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2359, which represents Thomson prison workers.
The Illinois Department of Corrections
did not prepare AFSCME for the news, though, she
We are not happy about it, and the members at Thomson are all up in arms, Laidlaw
The news has raised a lot of questions, such as how the prison will be run and what kind of staffing will be needed, Laidlaw
We would hope that it would mean more jobs for the people in the community, but how do you find people that have the training to work this detail? she
At this point, we dont even know what their plan is, or even if they have a plan.
The state spent $145 million to build the 1,600-bed, maximum-security prison in Thomson, a town of a little more than 500.
Construction was completed in 2001; 8 years later, the prison holds fewer than 200 inmates.
doesnt think the village is equipped to handle a federal prison that houses dangerous anti-American terrorists.
We just dont have the law enforcement in that area, she
Its a very quiet community, and we are in no way ready.
Another issue that has Laidlaw
on edge, she
said, is the problem of overcrowding at prisons statewide, where many maximum-security facilities are at 170 percent capacity.
The population is not going to decrease, Laidlaw