Quinn's comments follow on reports that the House Armed Services Committee has unanimously approved legislation that would prohibit creating a detention center inside the United States.
Quinn, speaking to reporters after signing an adoption records bill in Chicago Friday, said that "it's less likely" that Gitmo detainees are coming to Thomson, but argued nevertheless that "separate and distinct there's a need for a federal prison."
Thomson, he said, will likely still be sold to the feds.
"They've studied it six ways to Sunday ... they're prepared to move quickly," Quinn said.
President Obama made closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay one of his goals for the first year of his presidency and set a deadline that passed two months ago.
The idea to buy Thomson, a largely unused Supermax prison in upstate Illinois, was first floated in December.