Lawmakers and members of the public turned out in Sterling December 22 for what may have been the only public hearing about the proposed transfer of the Thomson Correctional Center in northwest Illinois to the federal government, according to Senator Tim Bivins, who attended the hearing.

The Legislature’s Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) conducted the hearing, as required under the state law governing the closure of state-owned facilities.

The Obama Administration has asked to buy the Thomson facility for use as a federal prison that would, in part, house detainees captured in the war on terrorism. Those detainees are currently being held at the United States military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Lawmakers and others at the seven-hour hearing expressed skepticism that moving detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Illinois would appease jihadists, Senator Bivins said." />

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