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US govt to buy prison in Illinois

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – 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.

The official said no detainees from Guantanamo Bay will be transferred to the under-used state prison in Thomson, 150 miles west of Chicago. The official said the acquisition is an answer to serious overcrowding problems at the federal government’s high-security prisons, which the official said are 50 percent over capacity.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly about the plan.

In 2009, the federal government began considering buying Thomson to hold a limited number of the Gitmo prisoners. Republicans opposed the idea and federal law now prohibits any such transfers to Thomson.

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