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Dr. Charlie Minnick Invited to Become a Member of Thomson Prison Community Relations Board
Ashford University vice president receives invitation from prison warden

Dr. Charlie Minnick, vice president and campus director of Ashford University, has been invited to become a member of the Community Relations Board (CRB) for the United States Penitentiary in Thomson, Ill.

The invitation came in a letter from Warden Donald Hudson, who said, “CRB meetings provide a means for mutual communication and support between institutions and their local communities. While such boards have no formal advisory function to institutions, their purpose is to serve as a two-way communication link between the institution and community leadership, and to advance public education, understanding, and advocacy for issues concerning federal prisons.”

The CRB will consist of 5-25 members from the leadership of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies; city, county, or township government; business and civic organizations; school boards and colleges; and health care organizations.

The purpose and objectives of the board are:

1.         To act as official liaison between the Thomson prison and the communities surrounding the institution within a 15-mile radius.

2.         To be kept informed with respect to policies, programs, and conditions of the institution.

3.         To make relevant information known to the community and to encourage community interest and involvement in the institution.

4.         To comment on and make recommendations regarding the institution.

5.         To take such actions as may be appropriate to accomplish the objectives of the board.

Thomson was built to be a state prison facility, but was never fully operational. The federal government bought the facility from the state of Illinois in 2012. When it is fully open, the prison is expected to house 1,900 maximum-security inmates and 200 minimum-security inmates while employing more than 1,000 people.


About Ashford University

Where heritage meets innovation – that’s Ashford University. At Ashford, students discover relevant degree programs, innovative technology, and cherished tradition. Ashford offers associates, bachelor’s, and master’s online degree programs, while the Clinton, Iowa campus offers bachelor’s programs. Whether on campus or online, Ashford students enjoy the same supportive community. For more information, please visit,,, or call Shari Winet, Vice President of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.