Jesse Jackson Jr. Leaving Prison for Halfway House

Says Patrick Kennedy, who visited him in Ala. prison camp
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 25, 2015 8:36 AM CDT
In this 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.   (Susan Walsh)
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(Newser) – Former US Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. will be released from federal prison tomorrow and will serve out the remainder of his term in a halfway house in Washington, DC, former US Rep. Patrick Kennedy says. Kennedy said he spoke with Jackson at the minimum-security federal prison camp in Montgomery, Ala., where the son of the civil rights leader has been serving a 2 ½-year sentence after pleading guilty to illegally spending $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items. Jackson, an Illinois Democrat, began the sentence on Nov. 1, 2013. The US Bureau of Prisons lists his release date as Sept. 20, 2015. Kennedy said he was in the area giving a speech on children's mental health and decided to visit Jackson on Monday. "You can imagine my surprise when I'm there, and I'm talking to him, and he says, 'I'm leaving Thursday morning,'" Kennedy says.

"He said he'd have to report with his probation officer and he'd have to get some kind of job and start to put his life back together," Kennedy said. Kennedy added that he had not seen Jackson since August 2012, when he visited him at the Mayo Clinic after Jackson checked himself in for bipolar disorder. Kennedy said Jackson's mental health is much better and that prison had allowed him to "unplug" from the world. "He's a lot more at ease with his role and responsibility with what got him into jail," Kennedy said. He added that Jackson "feels he's done his time. He's also very excited about what lies ahead for him in the future, which I think is very hopeful." A Bureau of Prisons rep would not confirm that Jackson would be released to a halfway house.

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