Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Senator Brady Calls for Second Hearing on Thomson

From the Office of State Senator Bill Brady
Monday, December 28, 2009

Illinois State Senator Bill Brady, (R) 44th district, is calling on the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) to hold a second hearing on the closing of Thomson Correction Facility so he and fellow committee members can field testimony directly from Governor Quinn.

“I called on Gov. Quinn to testify before the first hearing, because I had serious concerns that only he could address,” said Senator Brady. “In light of new information and because there are still a lot of unanswered questions, I am asking COGFA to hold a second hearing on Thomson and I am urging the Governor to be there.”

Earlier this month, the Associated Press reported more than 850 inmates -- including some violent offenders as well as repeat drunk drivers, drug abusers and people convicted on weapons violations -- were released early for good behavior.

“I’ve been advised that the number of prisoners quietly released for good behavior is actually closer to 2,000 inmates,” said Senator Brady. “That’s on top of the 1,000 prisoners Governor Quinn released in September to save the state money.”

A long-standing practice in Illinois requires all prisoners serve at least 61 days of their sentence, but the AP report revealed some spent as little as 11 days behind bars. The report also found inmates were given credit upfront for good behavior.

“The Governor needs to explain why these inmates were released early, and exactly how many have been released,” said Senator Brady. “His own Director of Corrections testified before the commission that prison overcrowding is a problem in Illinois. How are we expected to sell a state prison to the federal government that we clearly need?”

Senator Brady is also asking Governor Quinn to advise the COGFA committee on what types of prisoners are expected to be housed at Thomson, should the facility be sold to the federal government.

“Recent news reports suggest the terrorists that would be housed in Illinois under the Obama/Quinn plan are more dangerous than first thought,” said Senator Brady. “While I am convinced we could guard the most violent offenders in Thomson, I am concerned Illinois would become a new target for terrorist activity.”

Senator Brady is calling for the second hearing on Thompson to take place first week of the new year. The original hearing was held Tuesday, December 22nd in Sterling, Illinois. Traditionally, the committee would release its recommendations within 30 days.

“We cannot give an informed recommendation without testimony from the Governor,” said Senator Brady. “It is my sincerest hope he accepts my invitation to testify, so we can finally get answers to these lingering questions.”

No comments: