Now that Brittney Griner has come home…

…a bed has become available at a Federal Bureau of Prisons site.

What am I talking about? Well, the guy exchanged for Griner was Viktor Bout, who has been a guest of the federal prison system for quite a few years.

Given the indictments and criminal trials landing in our news every day (another Jan 6 assaulter will be sentenced soon, DOJ asking for 64 months and new arrests are still being made), it’s time to pay another visit to the Federal Correctional Institute just vacated by Bout, who had been at his leisure in an Illinois FCI. And there is one in Thomson, Illinois. It’s high security, hard core. Not a super-max, but still it was good enough for Bout, the Earth’s reigning Merchant of Death. So let’s presume that newly empty bed is in Thomson, Illinois.

Per my way of reviewing these places, I read through the guide booklet all new inmates receive. The commissary order sheet seems more limited than other FCI’s. The only exotic item is Barbacoa beef at $4.30; all four soups are ramen.

So I wandered virtually out onto the prairie surrounding the prison. I have no idea whether it is an official “prairie,” however “prairie” is defined; I’m calling it prairie because of its emptiness on the map.

(OK, OK. Here’s the National Geographic Society definition of prairie: ” Prairies are enormous stretches of flat grassland with moderate temperatures, moderate rainfall, and few trees.” After having praised everyone for being naturally intellectual, i.e., curious, it behooved me to look up that definition.)

Anyway, grasslands or no, the area surrounding Thomson FCI is bleak in other respects. The only locations on the map are a one-star hotel, The Thomson Hangout (a pizza sort of place), Tipton Auction Services, and a water tower.

When I clicked on a link to “Things To Do,” I got…nada. Google Maps actually said there had nothing under this category. That message radiated bewilderment, a sense that Google Maps thought it was failing in its duties to provide something to do.

So, of the multiple characters who will be getting federal sentences for attempting to thwart our democratic peace of mind, who do you want heading to the four-ramen-soup facility in Thomson, Illinois?

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