I recently wrote about the concerns of citizens in south suburban Crete on a new prison possibly coming to their town.
Crete officials stated they had limited information concerning the new prison, and were still looking over plans. What I find strange is the plan was submitted to Crete back in 2010 by Corrections Corporations of America. Crete officials state CCA approached them about building the prison.
What's even stranger to find is Illinois House Bill 2590, which was passed and signed by Governor Quinn in Aug. 2011 and took effect Jan. 1, 2012. The bill, in summary, amends the Private Correctional Facility Moratorium Act, which prohibits local government and sheriffs from contracting with private vendors for operations of correctional facilities.
I contacted state and federal offices concerning this bill and was informed it was too vague concerning the federal government prison which is controlled by ICE.
We understand this is an election year and what is also ironic concerning this issue is that candidate Debbie Halvorson and Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. have attended these meetings, particularly since Crete now sits in the 2nd Congressional District due to the new map.
Both are against the prison.
Politics is at times a dirty business and over the years voters have been growing tired of smoke and mirrors. I ask the question now: Where do the officials stand? Is the proposed site for the prison a TIF district?
And we understand candidate Halvorson resides in Crete, shops in Crete and loves her town. We also understand she wants to go back to Washington to fight for her district.
But besides her future plans, past plans are a reminder that Crete was in her former congressional district, which was also the time at which this proposal letter was sent concerning a federal prison, which she opposes.
Did CCA contact the congressional office while contacting the local government on this proposed site?
These are questions voters would like to know the answers to. Voters are concerned about their homes and jobs, as well as the safety of their children and families.