Thomson Correctional Center will be purchased by the federal government for $165 million.
The prison, which was built in 2001, never fully opened due to budget issues. The sale of the facility has been in the works for years, but was stalled repeatedly. The most recent opposition came from Congressman Frank Wolf, a Republican from Virginia who chairs a subcommittee that oversees the Bureau of Prisons.
Wolf blocked the sale because he thought the prison would be used to house terrorism suspects. Officials with the federal government deny that claim. The prison will now be used to house federal inmates and the prison's sale is expected to generate over 1,100 jobs.
According to Senator Dick Durbin and Governor Pat Quinn, who announced the sale Tuesday, federal officials went around Wolf and acted on their own authority in order to carry out the sale.
Thomson has 1,600 cells, but only housed less than 200 inmates before its closure.
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