Bureau of Prisons

The Federal Correctional Institution in Pekin
David Mercer / AP

Tazewell County is reporting a major COVID-19 outbreak at the Federal Correctional Institution in Pekin.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos have written a letter to the Department of Justice in an effort to keep a hiring freeze from affecting the Thomson Prison in northwestern Illinois.  Durbin and Bustos sent the letter saying that the freeze President Donald Trump ordered in January has already forced the facility to postpone hiring a new class of incoming officers.

The population continues to grow at Thomson prison in northwest Illinois.  More than 100 minimum security inmates are now housed at the long-dormant facility.  A spokesperson for the Bureau of Prisons says 237 workers are now based at Thomson.