Solitary Confinement Coming to Federal Supermax Prison at Thomson

Posted on March 8, 2015

Three years ago, the State of Illinois sold to the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) the Thomson Correctional Center, a long-dormant would-be “maximum-security” prison that never saw the light of day thanks to budget cuts. President Obama had been pushing to close Guantanamo Bay at the time and the Thomson facility was initially viewed as a possible new home for the detainees. Congress intervened and Guantanamo remains the bastion of human rights violations it was at the time of purchase.

But as Thomson has gathered dust in the intervening years, the prison now appears primed to open. Congress’s 2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill passed in December and provides the necessary funding to open the facility by 2016—and instead of providing comparative relief to sufferers of torture, it has been enabled to impose draconian solitary confinement practices on its prisoners.

Solitary Watch indicates that the BOP plans to use the facility to add 1,500 Special Management Unit beds and 400 more Administrative Maximum-rated cells, doubling the number of people held in conditions of extreme isolation nationally. These developments contrast with the current climate surrounding solitary confinement practices—internationally recognized standards define prolonged isolation as a form of torture and US prisons and jails have been exposed in recent years for a variety of grossly inhumane methods, prompting an imminent audit of American “segregation” practices in prisons.

CCDBR stands with the Illinois Coalition Against Torture in their staunch disavowal of Thomson Correctional Center as a hub for torture and human rights violations!

For more information on the ruthless realities behind solitary confinement watch this video.