Weather Updates

Don’t look to Thomson for prisoners like Blago

Updated: November 4, 2012 6:19AM

If the U.S. government turns the Thomson Correctional Center into a maximum-security federal prison, it probably won’t be the kind of place where you’d find former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, for example.

But a U.S. Bureau of Prisons official said Tuesday there’s no broad description to go with the type of inmate you’d find there instead. “Most of our inmates that are serving life sentences are in high-security prisons, but not all of them,” bureau spokesman Chris Burke said.

The federal government refers to its most secure facilities as “high-security” prisons, officials said. And when deciding whether to send an inmate to one, Burke said it looks at several factors, including the inmate’s offense, criminal history, education and age.

Of course, the more violent the inmate’s offense or criminal history, the more likely that person is to end up in a high-security prison.

It all comes down to an inmate’s “individualized assessment,” Burke emphasized.

Blagojevich’s new home near Littleton, Colo., is a low-security facility.

Former Gov. George Ryan is serving time in a medium-security federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind.

Jon Seidel

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.