"No detainees transferred from Guantanamo to the United States will be released domestically," Lavin said. "No detainees transferred to Thomson will be tried in Illinois Federal Courts."
That did not convince many of the several hundred people - supporters and opponents - in attendance.
Though not an Illinois resident, Debbie Lee traveled from Arizona to attend the hearing. Her son, Marc, a U.S. Navy Seal, died in Iraq in 2006. She says she visited the military prison at Guantanamo Bay in 2008 and opposes bringing terror suspects to the United States.
"I'm here today to make sure that they hear my voice and hear what I personally saw down there," Lee said. "My son gave up his life fighting terrorists so that we wouldn't ever have them back here in this country again."
Tom Brackemeyer, however, said he supports the sale of the prison. He said the benefit to the local community would go beyond jobs at the prison itself.
"We've lost jobs, we need jobs," Brackemeyer said. "It's not only the jobs inside the prison. It's the jobs it will create outside the prison. There's going to be expanded jobs outside."
Todd Pustelnik, currently a prison guard at Thomson, worried the proposed sale could jeopardize his job because the federal and state prison systems have different requirements.
"We don't have rights to slide over into the federal prison system," Pustelnik said. "We would have to go ahead and apply just like everyone else, and the requirements to work in a federal facility versus a state facility are a little difficult for me."
The 12-member commission will deliver its findings to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. Even if the commission members oppose the sale of the prison, Governor Quinn is not obligated to follow their recommendations.