Ill. gov: State to sell prison to feds

May 22, 2010 at 4:43 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., May 22 (UPI) -- Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said the state will sell a never-used prison to the federal government regardless of whether it houses Guantanamo Bay prisoners.

"We anticipate having a federal prison in Thomson this year," Quinn told the Chicago Sun-Times. "They are overcrowded at the federal level."

President Barack Obama has called for closing Guantanamo and had proposed using the Thomson Correctional Center as a holding center for accused enemy combatants. Some state and local officials supported the plan as a way to create jobs.

But opponents such as U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., balked at a plan they said they feared could attract terrorist attacks to the state.

The U.S. House Armed Services Committee voted Wednesday to require more thorough study by the administration before spending any funds on moving detainees.

Less than 200 detainees remain at the U.S. facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

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