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Former Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. Released to D.C.-Area Halfway House

In this Aug. 14, 2013, file photo, former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., leaves federal court in Washington after being sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for misusing $750,000 in campaign funds. Jackson Jr. will be released from a federal prison on Thursday, March 26, 2015, and will serve out the remainder of his term in a Washington, D.C., halfway house, former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy told The Associated Press after visiting Jackson behind bars. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
In this Aug. 14, 2013, file photo, former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., leaves federal court in Washington after being sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for misusing $750,000 in campaign funds. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

 

by Shantella Y. Sherman
Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspaper

Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. will begin a stay in a halfway house in the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore area following his release from a federal prison camp in Alabama March 26.

According to the NBC Chicago affiliate, the Illinois Democrat was accompanied by his father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., his mother, his wife, former Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson, and their children.

The senior Jackson told reporters it was “a great morning” as he left a nearby hotel earlier in the morning to meet his son, according to NBC5. “But a halfway house means he’s half way [home],” said Jackson. “I won’t be satisfied until he’s totally free.”

Jackson Jr. reported to federal prison Oct. 29, 2013, after pleading guilty to illegally spending $750,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses such as furs and vacations. Initially sentenced to a term of up to 30 months in prison, Jackson was released this week, having completed about 17 months.

Jackson, who also underwent treatment for bipolar disorder at the Mayo Clinic shortly before his incarceration, reportedly shaved three months off his prison term by completing a substance abuse program and earning good conduct credit.

While some have speculated Jackson’s early release grew from his personal wealth and family name, Bureau of Prisons spokesman Edmond Ross told the Chicago Tribune that Jackson’s was not an example of special treatment.

It has not been established how long Jackson will remain in transitional housing, however, according to Ross, inmates with strong family and community ties tend to move from halfway houses and into home monitoring, quickly.  Jackson will spend three years on supervised release after he fulfills his prison term in September.

A month after his term’s fulfillment, Jackson’s wife is scheduled to begin a one-year prison term as an accessory to illegal spending.  The couple’s sentences were staggered because of their children.

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