Funding Approved for Activation of ADX/USP Thomson, New Federal Supermax Prison

Thomson Correctional Center in Thomson, Illinois (Photo:

Even as it touts new initiatives to reduce the number of people it holds in solitary confinement, the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) continues to quietly make headway on the activation of Thomson Correctional Center in northwestern Illinois. If all proceeds as planned, Thomson will substantially increase the federal government’s capacity to hold individuals in […]

Feds to Open New Supermax Prison Cells at “Gitmo North”


Even as it announces a review and reduction of its solitary confinement practices, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons confirmed to Solitary Watch that a newly acquired prison ln Illinois will hold federal prisoners in supermax conditions. “Thomson will be a high security prison holding inmates with various security needs, including SMU and ADX type inmates,” said BOP spokesperson Chris Burke […]

No Budget Cuts for Federal Prisons

In the midst of an epic budget battle that could transform the American landscape for decades to come, the White House and Republicans in Congress appear to agree on one point: Federal prisons need more money. With more people and a higher percentage of the population locked up than any other country, the United States would seem […]

Obama and Bureau of Prisons Lowball Supermax Costs

In response to questions at his September 10 press conference, President Obama spoke about his failure to fulfill his clear campaign promise to close the military prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. He blamed fear and “political rhetoric” for blocking his plan to move Gitmo detainees to prisons in on U.S. soil. In the course of […]

Two for One: Guantanamo Won’t Close, But Illinois Supermax Will Open


Obama’s oath to close the military detention camp at Guantanamo Bay within a year of his election was more than a campaign promise or a post-inauguration executive order; for many people, it signified a return to some semblance of the rule of law after eight years of a rogue administration. But the 44th president had barely taken office when […]

Obama’s Plan Is the “Wrong Way to Close Guantanamo,” Groups Warn

Thomson Correctional Center, Illinois: Future Home of Gitmo North?

Part of Obama’s plan for fulfilling his campaign promise to close Guantanamo calls for moving a piece of the notorious detention camp, virtually intact, onto mainland American soil. In a letter sent to members of Congress this week, a coalition including the ACLU,  Amnesty International USA, and the Center for Constitutional Rights warned against this portion of the White House plan for Gitmo detainees, which the groups believe “could […]

If You Build It, They Will Come: Obama Commits to Gitmo North


The federal government confirmed on Thursday that it plans to buy Thomson Correction Center. Obama has long envisioned the state prison in rural Illinois as a new home for the detainees from the so-called war on terror who are currently housed at Guantanamo Bay. But it is quite possible that no Gitmo residents will ever live there.  According to Lynn Sweet’s […]