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Marine Corps recommends closing Quantico brig

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 6:25 PM EDT, Wed October 26, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The 39-year-old facility would close by the end of the year
  • The recommendation by the base commander still must be approved
  • John Hinckley, who tried to kill President Reagan, was detained in Quantico

(CNN) -- The Quantico Marine Corps brig will close at the end of the year if a recommendation announced Wednesday by the base commander is approved.

Officially called the pretrial confinement area, the facility has held notable suspects in its 39 years, including John Hinckley Jr., who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981, and Clayton Lonetree, a Marine security guard in Moscow convicted of espionage at his court martial at Quantico in 1987.

In addition, WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning was detained at the Virginia brig 36 miles south of Washington before being transferred to Fort Leavenworth prison in Kansas.

The announcement said factors in the recommendation included the facility's low number of detainees, as well as a savings in personnel deployment. Security issues also were considered, the announcement said.

According to the announcement, the recommendation is in line with the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission goal of consolidating correctional facilities.

Detainees who would have been held at the Quantico brig would go to the Joint Regional Confinement Facility in Chesapeake, Virginia, or local civilian jails, the announcement said.

CNN's Barbara Starr, Charley Keyes and Adam Levine contributed to this report.

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