Former U.S. representative Jesse Jackson Jr. is scheduled to be released from a federal prison and moved to a halfway house on Thursday, the Chicago Tribune reported on Tuesday, citing Jackson’s former Congressional peer Patrick Kennedy. The 50-year-old former representative for Illinois’ 2nd district was sentenced to 30 months in prison in 2013 for wire and mail fraud connected to his misuse of $750,000 in campaign funds.
Jackson served just more than half of his scheduled sentence, but that had already been reduced by about five months. In June he is scheduled for eligibility for home confinement for three months of his sentence. His release date is scheduled for Sept. 20, according to the Associated Press. Jackson will be transferred to a halfway house in Washington, D.C., where he will have to find a job, sign out for any purpose and refrain from intoxicating substance use.
Among the items Jackson transferred three quarters of a million dollars from his campaign fund to buy were Michael Jackson memorabilia, a football signed by U.S. presidents and copious amounts of luxury goods like furs and jewelry, according to the New York Times. Jackson resigned from Congress in 2012 after he was diagnosed with depression and bipolar disorder. His wife, Sandra Jackson, was sentenced to one year in prison for her role in her husband’s illegal activities and her sentence is scheduled to begin after Jackson leaves prison, over concerns that jailing them at the same time would negatively impact their two children.
As Jackson moves closer to the end of a chapter, a fellow Illinois representative, Republican Aaron Schock, is on his way out of office after a scandal erupted in February revolving around his misuse of campaign funds to lavishly decorate his office and pay for tickets to the Super Bowl, for private jet flights and for luxury items much like those Jackson purchased. Schock resigned on March 17, effective March 31. Both Jackson and Schock were seen as rising stars in their respective parties.
Sandra as well as Jackson’s parents, prominent civil rights campaigner Rev. Jesse Jackson and Jacqueline Jackson, will pick him up from the Montgomery, Alabama. prison where he has served out his sentence and deliver him to the halfway house in D.C. The scheduled release came as a surprise to Kennedy, who met with Jackson recently.
“You can imagine my surprise when Im there, and I’m taking to him, and he says, ‘I’m leaving Thursday morning,’” the former representative for Rhode Island said. “He’s a lot more at ease with his role and responsibility with what got him into jail.”