(CN) – A rural prison in northwest Illinois has been chosen to house prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. A spokesman for Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin said the Thomson Correctional Center will house as many as 100 Guantanamo prisoners. The White House is expected to make the announcement today.
The Thomson prison is in Thomson, Ill., on the Mississippi River 150 miles from Chicago. Durbin’s spokesman said no more than 100 Guantanamo prisoners will be housed there.
Closing Guantanamo has been a priority for the Obama administration. Thomson was one of several sites evaluated by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. Durbin lobbied for the prison to be chosen.
Thomson was opened in 2001 as a maximum-security state prison. State budget woes have prevented the 1,600-cell prison from fully opening. Thomson now houses 200 minimum-security inmates.