Jesse Jackson Jr. Begins Prison Sentence After Check-In Mishap
Disgraced Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. has made a lot of mistakes in his political career, including a bungled check-in to federal prison.
After he was initially turned away Monday for reporting too early, the former Illinois Representative entered the Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina mid-Tuesday morning.
“He is in our custody, as of about a minute ago,” Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke told the Tribune around 10 a.m. Chicago time.
Jackson, 48, was denied entry when he showed up to the prison four days ahead of his official reporting date of Nov. 1. As the Sun-Times reports, the ex-congressman would have needed to make special arrangements for an early check-in. It is believed he attempted to arrive early in order to avoid a media clamor like what surrounded former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s prison check-in.
According to the Tribune, Burke did not know what transpired that ultimately allowed Jackson’s early entry Tuesday morning.
Per the Associated Press, Jackson Jr. was forced to stay in a hotel due to the administrative “snafu.”
Jackson’s failed initial attempt to go to jail led to plenty of confusion over his whereabouts, so much so that even his father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, was in the dark. “I’m not being deceptive,” Jackson told the Sun-Times of his son’s whereabouts. “I don’t know.”
The elder Jackson added that his son, who started receiving treatment for bipolar disorder in 2012, is still “in recovery” and will continue treatment as he starts his 30-month prison sentence.
Jackson starts his two-and-a-half year sentence plus three years probation after pleading guilty to misusing more than $750,000 in campaign funds for lavish personal expenses.
His wife, former Chicago City Councilwoman Sandi Jackson, 49, will serve a year in prison for filing false joint tax returns. A judge has allowed the couple to serve their sentences consecutively in order to care for their two young children.
The couple, who owe $750,000 in restitution, recently listed their D.C. mansion to help pay their dues.