Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Feds finding it difficult to staff Thomson prison
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Feds finding it difficult to staff Thomson prison

Friday, Jun 14, 2019

* From the warden of the Thomson federal prison

May 24, 2019

Dear Community Member,

The Thomson prison is not a new subject and to imply it has been a long journey is an understatement. State and federal governments have made large investments in this prison and I realize the local communities have matched these efforts.

The Administrative United States Penitentiary (AUSP) at Thomson currently employs nearly 400 staff, with a future full staffing complement of over 600. While a majority of our staff and their families are from the local area, a large number have transferred from other institutions and now reside in your communities. They are a diverse group with diverse needs and their presence has a compounding effect as salaries are redistributed throughout the local area, in housing, food, goods, services, and taxes.

As our staffing levels continue to grow, the demand for homes and other amenities also increase. Affordable and desirable housing along with good quality schools and day care centers determine where Bureau of Prisons’ staff reside. They need apartments, rental houses, starter homes, and larger homes for their expanding families. Unfortunately, for some, commuting a long distance is necessary, with some staff traveling as far north as Dubuque and south beyond the Quad Cities.

AUSP Thomson is now offering new Correctional Officers a sign-on bonus of 10% of their salary and after successfully completing one year of service; new staff will receive a one-time bonus of over $4,000. However, this may not be enough to entice staff to reside in the local community. Therefore, I humbly request your assistance in advocating for more housing development. Please do what you can to create conversations among community leadership and residential developers. I fear that without noticeable development, the lack of housing may become a determining factor against relocating to this area.

Thomson is a northwestern Illinois tiny town of 590 people. It had been the site of a state prison, but the state decided it didn’t need the facility and it was eventually unloaded on the feds.

* Chase Cavanaugh takes a look at the situation

“It’s hard to believe we have no retail in Thomson and we have limited housing,” [Thomson Village President Vicky Trager] said. “The housing that we do have is mostly older, small, single family homes. We have some income-based multi-unit apartment buildings.”

Michelle Horst is a Human Resource Specialist for the Bureau of Prisons. She says this lack of amenities means employees commute an average of 30 miles to work.

She says most employees reside in the Illinois cities of Thomson, Savanna, Mount Carroll, Fulton, Morrision and the Sterling/Rock Falls area, as well as Clinton, Iowa. “However, we do have some employees that commute as far as 50-70 miles or more, including a significant number in the Quad Cities area,” she said. […]

Since the release of the warden’s letter, [prison spokesperson Nicole McDowell] says several communities have responded with commitments to new development.

“Outside of Thomson, Mt Carroll let us know that they’re doing a renovation that’s going to provide lots and lots of housing, and Clinton let us know that they are about to do another housing area like the ‘landing’ that they have that will also house a lot of staff,” she said. […]

For now, the Bureau of Prisons has designated Thomson a “hard to fill” institution, allowing staff to offer a variety of hiring and pension incentives. As for Thomson itself, Trager hopes the warden’s recent letter can get the word out about new job hires and attract future developers.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

7 Comments
  1. - Give Me A Break - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 1:11 pm:

    Well I find this hard to believe. You mean to tell me they are having trouble getting people to move to an area with limited housing, limiting shopping and things to do.

    People should be beating the doors down to work in this area away from bad ole Chicago and the mean Dems and tax spending libs.

    I bet you can own a gun, fly your rebel flag and gripe about big gvt. while watching the corn grow for fun. Sounds like a GOP paradise to me.


  2. - Quibbler - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 1:21 pm:

    Good. If only they had as much trouble staffing the rest.


  3. - Dan Vock - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 1:43 pm:

    Rural housing shortages are becoming a bigger problem throughout the country. Iowa’s governor has been highlighting the issue for the last year or so. Interestingly, Iowa is hoping its state prison system will help alleviate the problem. https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/business/development/2019/06/06/iowa-rural-housing-shortage-crisis-affordable-housing-prison-inmates-newton-correctional-facility/3769692002/


  4. - Al - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 2:03 pm:

    They won’t hire folks who pass around a joint on a Saturday night.


  5. - 62656 - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 2:15 pm:

    There have been so many employers who’ve cried wolf over the years about being unable to find staff that I wonder how many applicants they get & what’s wrong with the ones they don’t offer a job. There may be a genuine shortage of available applicants, but there could also be rejecting people who would be fine at the job.


  6. - Anyone Remember - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 3:14 pm:

    Would someone send this to the IPI the next time they talk about Illinois population loss and the loss is actually outside Greater Chicagoland?


  7. - Erie Illinois - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 4:10 pm:

    Erie Illinois is 30 minutes from the prison, has an excellent school district and expanding athletic facilities and opportunities for students. We are less than 30 minutes from shopping in Davenport and Moline. It is a small town but has affordable country living, a grocery store and we would love to have you come check us out.


TrackBack URI

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Question of the day
* Belated Willie Wilson fact check
* Whistleblower strongly disagrees with IG findings
* Separated at birth?
* Fun with numbers
* Madigan has spent $1.2 million on legal fees since fall 2017
* You just cannot argue with some people
* *** UPDATED x7 *** $170K Goodwill director lays off low wage workers citing minimum wage law that doesn't apply, but son makes $96K
* Chance the Snapper in custody
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............


Loading


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller