By doing this Obama is bailing out one his union bases - AFSCME by providing jobs to prison guards who would have been laid off due to Illinois being bankrupt.
Thursday, August 02, 2012
AFSCME sues to keep prisons open
By Jamey Dunn
The states largest public employee union is suing to block Gov. Pat Quinns plans to shut down several correctional facilities on the grounds that the closures would create unsafe working environments for its members.
THOMSON — Illinois’ top leaders say the federal government will purchase Thomson Correctional Center in western Illinois for $165 million.
The prison’s sale has been stalled for years, most recently because of opposition from a Virginia Republican who chairs a subcommittee overseeing the Bureau of Prisons.
Congressman Frank Wolf rejected the sale request because he believed terrorism suspects would be housed there. Federal officials say that’s not true.
Sen. Dick Durbin and Gov. Pat Quinn announced the sale Tuesday, saying federal officials decided to go around Wolf and act on their own authority. Durbin says it’s an unusual move but not illegal.
Thomson was built in 2001. Budget troubles kept it from fully opening. It has 1,600 cells but housed fewer than 200 inmates before closing to prepare for a sale.
An Obama administration official says the federal government is going to buy a state prison in Illinois as a facility that will hold high-security inmates.