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Taking a breath and looking closer

Tuesday, Nov 24, 2009

* One of the better responses I’ve seen to this Thomson prison situation was from state Sen. Tim Bivins (R-Dixon)

Bivins said much more information is needed before a decision is made.

“At the briefing and tour Monday … I asked the Governor’s (Pat Quinn) chief of operations Jack Lavin if there is a plan in place for using the proceeds from the sale of the prison (to the federal government. His response was, ‘I think we are getting ahead of ourselves,’ ” Bivins said in a news release. “I responded that I thought we should get ahead of ourselves before making a decision of this magnitude.”

…Bivins recommends taking some of the proceeds from the sale of the prison and putting that money toward helping the state’s overcrowded corrections system. Some 1,600 inmates could be housed at Thomson, requiring 800 to 900 employees.

“Compare that to the prison in Dixon with 2,200 inmates and fewer than 600 employees,” he said.

And then there is the small matter of the big debt. Bivins said the state still owes $80 million on the Thomson prison. The village floated about $12 million in bonds for a new wastewater treatment system, which still needs to be paid.

“We need to look at the entirety of the situation,” the senator said. “We should open up the process. If we are going to sell Thomson, let’s get the best possible price for it. Are there any other bidders out there?”

So, there’s about $90 million in outstanding debt still owed on Thomson. If the state sells the prison for cost, Illinois is gonna clear just a few million dollars. That would be very stupid.

And Sen. Bivins is right about the state’s current prison system. Selling Thomson means dumping our most modern prison facility, and not having anything to replace it.

* I guess this statement by Gov. Quinn depends on how you define the word “swift“…

Gov. Pat Quinn said Monday he expects swift action on a proposal to sell a northwestern Illinois prison to the federal government to house Guantanamo Bay detainees […]

Quinn is pushing hard for the federal government to take over the Thomson facility, promising that it will help create jobs in a struggling area. Critics question the economic impact.

“I think this will move along rather quickly,” Quinn said.

One reason why this won’t move as fast as Quinn is implying is because of something Senate President John Cullerton told the AP last week. It doesn’t appear that the AP really knew what it had because it buried the important part

The president of the Illinois Senate says state lawmakers have no formal control over whether terrorism suspects wind up being housed in the state.

President John Cullerton says lawmakers can’t take an official vote allowing or blocking the plan. The Chicago Democrat said Thursday that the only role for lawmakers is to have a committee review the idea and take an advisory vote.

I checked with Cullerton’s press secretary on this, and the “committee” Cullerton referred to was the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability’s role in implementing the State Facilities Closure Act. Here’s how a state facility is defined in the law…

“State facility” means any facility (i) that is owned and operated by the State or leased and operated by the State and (ii) that is the primary stationary work location for 25 or more State employees. “

Thomson qualifies.

Closure requirements…

Before a State facility may be closed, the State executive branch officer with jurisdiction over the facility shall file notice of the proposed closure with the Commission. The notice must be filed within 2 days after the first public announcement of any planned or proposed closure. Within 10 days after it receives notice of the proposed closure, the Commission, in its discretion, may require the State executive branch officer with jurisdiction over the facility to file a recommendation for the closure of the facility with the Commission. In the case of a proposed closure of: (i) a prison… operated by the Department of Corrections… the Commission must require the executive branch officers to file a recommendation for closure. The recommendation must be filed within 30 days after the Commission delivers the request for recommendation to the State executive branch officer. [Emphasis added.]

After that, the governor must wait at least 50 days to close the facility. So, this could go on for a few months after the feds approve it - and the president has said that the final plan isn’t imminent. So, I guess it’s “swift” for government work.

The commission, by the way, is bipartisan. It contains six members from each party and a co-chair from each party. Two statewide GOP candidates, Sens. Bill Brady and Matt Murphy, sit on the commission. Sen. Dave Syverson, who is close to visceral Thomson opponent Congressman Don Manzullo, also sits on the commission. GOP Rep. Raymond Poe, a commission member, is a co-sponsor of HR 762

Urges Governor Patrick Quinn and his administration to immediately halt all negotiations or contacts with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and all other relevant federal offices and departments, relating to the proposed transfer of the Thomson Correctional Center to the federal government for purposes of a Military Commissions Act of 2006 detention facility, until they initiate consultations with the Illinois General Assembly and receive their consent to undertake this move.

Expect a slow-walk.

* Meanwhile, Congressman Mark Kirk is trying to repair the damage he’s done to his reputation by walking back his hysterical tirade over Thomson

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kirk turned down the rhetoric [yesterday] on Democratic-backed plans to use the largely vacant Thomson Correctional Center to house suspected terrorist detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, saying he wants a “dispassionate and specific” discussion of the issue.

“The key point is, is this a necessary risk?” asked Kirk, a five-term congressman from the North Shore. “And in my judgment, it’s not a necessary risk. But then I’m practical. I’m from the Midwest and I understand when a deal has been cut. So then the question is, if we are to move forward, then how do we move forward?” […]

[Kirk’s] previous comments have warned that the Chicago area could become “ground zero for Jihadist terrorist plots, recruitment and radicalization.” He’s questioned the safety of O’Hare International Airport, the Willis Tower and a nuclear power plant near the Quad Cities.

Kirk said much of his earlier rhetoric had to do with the fact that the federal interest in Thomson was “a rather surprise announcement” and that he was “going with the information that we had available.”

So, he admitted that he was caught off guard, didn’t have all the facts, but went ahead and jumped the gun anyway with his dire warnings that we were all gonna die.


One of Kirk’s earliest backers was former Gov. Jim Edgar, who, unlike Kirk, waited to react until he had seen some facts

The two-term Illinois governor said he understands the concerns, but probably wouldn’t worry about safety too much.

“I can appreciate folks may not want these people in their backyard, but they’ve got to go someplace, it appears,” Edgar said during a visit to the Capitol. “And I’m sure that will be an extremely secure prison. I wouldn’t worry about folks breaking out.

“If the right safety guarantees are there, then I would say that it makes sense just to create some economic opportunity in that part of the state.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Greg B. - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 11:15 am:

    Nice to see some rationality entering the process. Lot’s of questions at the state level that need to be addressed. There are many at the federal level to be asked — including a threat assessment which I believe would do much to quell concerns.

    Still against Gitmo closure and don’t trust the Attorney General after the NY debacle, but if this is the direction we’re headed then our political class needs to start behaving like adults to protect Illinois’ interests.

  2. - Anon - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 11:20 am:

    So, he admitted that he was caught off guard, didn’t have all the facts, but went ahead and jumped the gun anyway with his dire warnings that we were all gonna die.

    Is it wrong for members of Congress to raise concerns and ask questions about a plan like this?

  3. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 11:25 am:

    - Is it wrong for members of Congress to raise concerns and ask questions about a plan like this? -

    No, but it is wrong to scream fire until you see some smoke.

  4. - irving & ashland - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 11:27 am:

    I can think of procedural ways that might get around the Closing Commission. For instance, leasing most of it to the Feds, keeping 1 state guard on hand and saying it’s not “closed”; or keeping a small portion of it for a Dep’t of Corrections office or something. I’m not a lawyer nor an expert in statutes. Maybe a gimmick like that wouldn’t work. Just wondering what others think.

  5. - cassandra - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 11:28 am:

    I certainly hope that any profits from selling Thomson to the feds wouldn’t go to expanding the
    state prison system. Overcrowding should be be handled by stepping up the early release program and using alternatives to incarceration more often–much more often. Otherwise, we’ll end up
    like California, which basically can’t afford its prison system any more and has no money to fix it. Not to mention an expanding and very expensive geriatric population which is no longer a threat to society but whose members are too old and sick to be discharged into the community and
    require highly expensive institiutional nursing care.

  6. - Obamarama - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 11:30 am:

    Raising questions? He claimed that moving the Gitmo campers to Thomson would make Illinois “ground zero for Jihadist terrorists plots, recruitment, and radicalization.”

    That is not an interrogatory sentence. It is fear mongering, plain and simple.

    Alternatively, if he actually believes that, then he must be the worst intelligence officer ever.

  7. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 11:44 am:

    ===For instance, leasing most of it to the Feds===

    A lease would require GA approval.

    Your comment is a stretch, to say the least. Also, it’s so controversial now that trickery would pretty much guarantee that the backlash moved away from Kirk and onto Quinn.

  8. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 11:51 am:

    ===Is it wrong for members of Congress to raise concerns and ask questions about a plan like this? ===

    Raising concerns and asking questions is one thing. Deliberate fear-mongering with false allegations is quite another.

    Your response says more about you than you may realize.

  9. - Ghost - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 11:59 am:

    === And Sen. Bivins is right about the state’s current prison system. Selling Thomson means dumping our most modern prison facility, and not having anything to replace it. ===

    Finally someone is looking at the real issue for IL, the current State of our prisons and the effect of selling off our newest real estate. I can now quietly rant and froth in the corner over this point. I am still amazed that there are not substantialy more people on both sides asking these questions. Everyone got on the trail of that red herring, no one took the time to ask if they should really be chasing it before they began down that trail.

  10. - CircularFiringSquad - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 12:01 pm:

    Capt Fax:
    What if PQ moves all the IL bad guys @ Thomson into one wing, closes nothing and sells the non-closed space to the feds?
    This would seem to leave Mutt Murphy doing an Adam Lambert on Sen Brady, Commando Kirk looking even whimpier than he does and StateWideTom clanging about waiting fro TugBoat Outsider to crank up some phony headlines.

  11. - 10th Indy - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 12:08 pm:

    Could be you need to scream to get people to listen to you… I’d much rather have Kirk screaming to bring attention to the issue than Durbin and Quinn cutting a deal without answering any questions.

  12. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 12:12 pm:


    I remain amazed that little is being said about the fact that this new prison should be housing Illinois convicts, not sold off. We have all these old prisons that should be shuttered and inmates moved to this white elephant. While I agree that new prisons should have been built next to the old ones to minimize the impact on veteran employees that didn’t happen, likely for political reasons. Life is unfair.

    I fail to see how Thomson would be such an improvement over the current facility, Gitmo. This is just smoke - nothing of value is occuring. Illinois would get some cash from the feds (read taxpayers, paying for 2 prisons where one will suffice). It appears Quinn is reluctant to release info as to where the funds would be used - more secrecy.

    This is a mess. All to get a few bucks and a photo op for Quinn to trumpet his efforts to save Illinois. I’m not buying it.

  13. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 12:14 pm:

    ===Could be you need to scream to get people to listen to you===

    Yeah. They listened alright. Especially the editorial boards.

  14. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 12:23 pm:

    I’ll bet people are listening, though, Rich–and an awareness might have been raised that there could be a bit more to this than simply job creation, as it was originally presented. That’s not a bad thing.

  15. - tvor - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 12:31 pm:

    I would still like anyone to explain how it makes sense, as Ghost and Dupage Dan repeatedly suggest, to close another prison and open Thomson. The problem is crowding. Your scheme would move the problem to Thomson, not solve it.

    I would also still like anyone to explain how premature release of minimum-security inmates (which Quinn is doing) in any way addresses the crowding problem among maximum security inmates (what Thomson would hold).

    (By the way, if it is not too obvious, there is no trickle-down effect where you release a bunch of minimum-security types early and then move max offenders into those beds. Minimum facilities are like open campuses with dorms and, guess what, MINIMUM SECURITY features. You cannot house max inmates there. So again, release of minimum inmates does nothing to address crowding among max inmates. Among existing options only Thomson can do that.)

  16. - shore - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 12:35 pm:

    Not rooster Kirk’s finest moment, his press and policy staff failed him pretty badly. The message discpline has been severely off starting with the rollout of the campaign and the one foot in one foot out.

    This is the first go around statewide for his team and it’s making you wonder if they need some more national experience, because this is starting to develop into a trend which isn’t helping him.

  17. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 12:39 pm:

    ===his press and policy staff failed him pretty badly.===

    This cannot be blamed on staff. It’s him.

  18. - Harmony - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 12:58 pm:

    “I fail to see how Thomson would be such an improvement over the current facility, Gitmo.” - dupage dan

    What is our real motive here? Is it to move out of Gitmo so we no longer have negative connotations attached? That would certainly appear to make us a greater more sensitive nation but is it really necessary at the expense of the taxpayers?

    As far as Kirk’s early remarks… we should give him a break. Yes, he should have waited until all of the facts were presented before speaking out but I’m sure we have all made quick, uninformed decisions which have come back to bite us.

  19. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 1:05 pm:

    ===Yes, he should have waited until all of the facts were presented before speaking out===

    It’s not a problem that he “spoke out.” It’s that he screamed bloody murder and insisted that horrid things were facts when they were grossly untrue.

  20. - Responsa - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 1:08 pm:

    It’s always fun to speculate on Cap Fax, but very premature to pass judgement on the wisdom of Kirk’s statements and policy position re: Thomson. How the proposal regarding future use of the prison actually turns out, and how Kirk is ultimately viewed by the voters of Illinois on election day are the real arbiters—and will show whether Kirk was savvy or foolish to come out so firmly and so soon against bringing the Gitmo detainees to Il.

  21. - tvor - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 1:10 pm:

    we have all made quick, uninformed decisions which have come back to bite us

    Indeed. But we’re not all running for the United States Senate. Or flogging our military intelligence record in the process. Kirk’s rash behavior here clearly demonstrated a lack of judgment that to me is not compatible with higher office.

  22. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 1:11 pm:

    ===will show whether Kirk was savvy or foolish to come out so firmly and so soon===

    Actually, with this latest change of direction, Kirk appears to have already made the determination that he was foolish.

  23. - shore - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 1:12 pm:

    Kirk does not just go to a press release type up a media advisory, write a press release and put together a press conference. His people should have taken the time to ask the questions and gotten full answers from DOJ and the pentagon before they put him out to get flogged.

    To go out one week, make a big deal, jab at the white house, build a website and start a national discussion and then the next week comeback and have to completely abandon your position is not great stuff. I think Alexi and Jackson are such lightweights-I don’t ever remember bush’s white house talking down a senate candidate the way they’ve talked down alexi-that this won’t do long term damage.

    Hoffman was on berkowitz last night, seems like a reasonable guy and I think he’d tear Alexi to bits in a debate.

  24. - 10th Indy - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 1:33 pm:

    Kirk has been asking questions since this thing was announced and getting misinformation at best and no reply at worst. When Durbin and Quinn announced a sale to Federal Bureau of Prisons, Kirk cited Bureau of Prison policy only to have Durbin say completely false the prison will really be run by DoD. The Council of Economic Advisors report was released to reporters instead of the elected officials who had requested it a full week after the announcement was made. The job number of jobs created keeps changing, who will run the prison keeps changing, the costs are not quantified, the benefits to Illinois are murky at best and the security impacts are unmeasured. The real problem here is not Kirk screaming bloody murder…

  25. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 1:42 pm:

    ===Kirk has been asking questions since this thing was announced===

    Actually, no. He popped off immediately before he asked any real questions.

  26. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 1:44 pm:

    - His people should have taken the time to ask the questions and gotten full answers from DOJ and the pentagon before they put him out to get flogged. -

    He didn’t have to go out and get flogged at all. Are you saying Kirk doesn’t make his own decisions? Thats reassuring for a potential senator.

  27. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 1:48 pm:

    Again, I do not believe it’s his staff. This sort of odd behavior is almost never staff-related. It’s always the candidate, and staff can do little to stop it. RRB is a prime example. People wanted to blame his staff for years, but the problem was him.

  28. - Ghost - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 1:53 pm:

    tvor we are really on the same page. If the capacity is still needed at the older prisons then keep them open; but ultimatly we need to be replacing prisons not shedding brand new ones. Whetehr we keep the new one to releive overcrwoding and start a plan to replace older ones, or use the new one to replace an outdated max we already have is 6 of one half a dozen of another. At the end, it means we keep thomson because we need it now.

  29. - shore - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 1:58 pm:

    The other thing to consider is whether this helped at all with the conservatives. The media doesn’t vote in republican primaries. The news conference wa covered big time, the walk back, not so much and it’s the eve of thanksgiving break so who knows who else is paying attention.

    It’s not like he had to change his position on abortion to score points with them here.

  30. - Obamarama - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 1:59 pm:

    I must agree with Rich. Keeping your candidate from popping off at the mouth and making a political mistake is one of your jobs as a manger/operative. When a candidate makes a series of comments like Kirk did here, it is a pretty good assumption to say that it wasn’t debated in a strategy meeting, polled for word choice and carefully crafted by “the smart guys.” Most likely, this is a prime example of the candidate creating a headache for his own camp–if I had a nickel…

  31. - shore - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 2:07 pm:

    “He was against it before he was for it”, just like Iraq, cap n’trade, sarah palin. Not good.

  32. - Bob - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 2:12 pm:

    I know it has been mentioned but the local hospitals around Thomson will be used by the prison. So this might be something the local citizens might want to think about. Do you want a terrorist staying in the next room in your local hospital? Remember nobody has escaped from a super-max prison yet! But how many have escaped being treated at the local hospital.

  33. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 2:15 pm:

    Oh, Bob. What a crock.

    I think you need a new diaper.

  34. - Vote Quimby! - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 2:20 pm:

    Wow, Bob….don’t worry, I’m sure they will have at least a Barney Fife on duty outside Thomson General Hospital whenever they treat Al-Qaedis for an infection. And how about those conjugal visits….wouldn’t want to stay overnight at the Motel 6 next to THAT room! /s

  35. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 2:25 pm:

    Bivins’ background as a law enforcement official and Sacia’s background as an FBI agent should give the rest of the GOP pause when slamming this proposal.

  36. - 10th Indy - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 2:33 pm:

    Actually yes. As early as the 17th Kirk was asking for a security assessment. He began asking for the report from the economic advisors as soon as he learned there was one. Just because it wasn’t reported doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

  37. - formerGOPer - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 4:06 pm:

    I had a very long push poll (thought it would never end) from the Kirk campaign last night. They are still testing how well the Thomson screaming will help them. I’m not sure he’s willing to give it up based on that. Though it could be they just wanted stats to show him that it wasn’t playing well.

  38. - Will County Woman - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 4:44 pm:

    “I can appreciate folks may not want these people in their backyard, but they’ve got to go someplace, it appears,” Edgar said during a visit to the Capitol. “And I’m sure that will be an extremely secure prison. I wouldn’t worry about folks breaking out.”

    “I can appreciate folks may not want these people in their backyard, but they’ve got to go someplace, it appears,” Edgar said during a visit to the Capitol. “And I’m sure that will be an extremely secure prison. I wouldn’t worry about folks breaking out!

    egads! for the gazillioneth time—NOBODY IS CONCERNED ABOUT ENEMY COMBATANTS ESCAPING FROM THOMSON. THE CONCERN IS ABOUT WHAT THE JIHADIST TERRORIST TYPES IN THE MIDDLE EAST MAY BE PROVOKED TO DO (to Illinois/chicago)AND HOW MORE LIKELY. Fox 32 ran a story lastnight about how security is very lax at O’Hare. A DePaul University professor who is an expert on terrorism in effect stated that Americans are becoming complacent and that is risky because we are letting our guards down by being less vigilant.

    The whole pro-thomson anti gitmo deal is predicated on nonsense. whatever.

  39. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 4:46 pm:


    If we have such an overcrowding issue in this state why wasn’t Thomson opened and transfers from the crowded prisons to this new, state of the art, empty facility. Were we just waiting for the feds to pay out big bucks so that we could solve our fiscal mess?

    Since we have overcrowding in the prisons in this state we need to make sure that only those who truly must be kept behind bars are there. Monitoring of non-violent criminals can reduce costs to the DOC system. Opening up Thomson and moving prisoners will cost more but, if you reduce prison population with proper release/monitoring programs it may be possible to close one or more of the very old prisons.

    None of that includes closing a perfectly good facility at Gitmo. Perceptions around the world may be that Gitmo is a bad place but the facts do not bear that out overall.

    Don’t sell Thomson - use it!

  40. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 6:34 pm:

    Here’s to Sen. Bivins for getting down to some nuts-and-bolts on this issue, rather than the fear-mongering. That’s what a GA member should be doing.

  41. - Will County Woman - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 8:02 pm:

    I am not far right leaning, is what I actually meant. I am a moderate democrat, so I am right leaning.

  42. - Bob (the other Bob, not the hysterical one) - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 8:41 pm:

    If you reduce the number of minimum security prisoners, it does create a trickle down effect. That is because there are many levels of security, including high medium, low medium, etc. So, there are prisoners at each level, including maximum security, who can safely be moved down to the NEXT security level (not the very lowest) if there is room. So, contrary to your comment, maximum security prisoners don’t go to open boot camps. But many would qualify for high medium security, and that would help relieve overcrowding.

    The way these security levels are set could use an overhaul, but that’s another topic entirely.

  43. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 10:38 pm:

    Thanks for the identity clarification, Bob.

  44. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 11:42 pm:

    Actually, no. He popped off immediately before he asked any real questions.

    I know I’m going to get bashed for this one, but stop and consider how this all started. The Ds came out, obviously convinced that no one was going to challenge this TO THE DEGREE that 1) they didn’t seem to stop to think about the Qs that would be asked so that they could address them from the get-go to avoid alot of controversy 2) they made some FALSE statements, inc. status of negotiations in another state (CO, was it?) believing that no one would look into that, and 3) they didn’t even give anyone else a heads-ups re: their move let alone participate in the discussion.


    So within a week, Kirk managed to not only raise some valid questions but opened discussions on the topic overall–which I’ll say again, isn’t a bad thing for the PUBLIC.

    I’m really struggling with why you can’t see that, Rich, or if you do, why you believe it’s NOT a good thing.

  45. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 11:48 pm:

    Anonymous, if you can’t see all the hyperventilating, the untruths, the crazy partisan politics (he even started a campaign-related website on the subject) then I can’t help you.

  46. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 11:56 pm:

    If the Ds didn’t take the approach that they did, I might understand the criticism–and might even agree with you. But look at how aggressive they were.

  47. - Dinah Bordum - Wednesday, Nov 25, 09 @ 12:05 am:

    I laugh when I hear talk of early release of prisoners in California, they can’t even get them out when they’re supposed to be. Lost paper work and the ego of Trilogy SAP (Debbie something) is causing 80 inmates to have their case reviews redone because she missed the meeting. These were “abstensia” reviews, even the inmates weren’t there. Now they will all be there an extra 30 days, let’s see, if it cost tax payers $52k a year to house inmates, 80 inmates x $4k = $320,000 to tax payers! Way to go Trilogy! and you’re the new substance abuse program providers so you’re just getting warmed up! Bravo! We should have this budget handled in no time!
    No one gets released early, at least not from CRC.

  48. - Scott Fawell's Cellmate - Wednesday, Nov 25, 09 @ 12:27 am:

    Grover Norquist, Bob Barr and other conservative heavyweights wrote an open letter supporting jailing Gitmo inmates in U.S. supermax prisons like Thomson. Moderate IL GOP fmr Gov Edgar selected Thomson as the area to house the worst humans alive, and now supports Thomson to house these Gitmo inmates. And the folks in Thomson want it open, and have known since they put together their bid for it in 1999 that Thomson would house human nightmares.

  49. - Liandro - Saturday, Nov 28, 09 @ 2:32 pm:

    Sen. Bivins has always had a thoughtful attitude about him (I am from Dixon, too). When this story broke out over here in Iraq I was asked what I thought about “sending to the terrorists to Illinois”–probably since I’m the only one from my battalion to hail from IL. I had already read Bivins response on the issue, and after contrasting it to Kirk’s, the Gov’s, etc., it was the one I primarily channeled in my response.

    Bottom line for me: this is something that needs to be explored thoroughly and without political bias (as much as that is possible). It should not be done “swiftly”, but surely.

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