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Jesse Jackson Jr. to be released to halfway house this week

WASHINGTON — Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., will be released from prison by the end of this week — probably Thursday – to serve the remainder of his sentence at a halfway house here.

Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman Edmond Ross told the Chicago Sun-Times that Jackson is “going to transition” from a federal minimum security camp in Montgomery, Alabama, to a privately run facility here, where he will be monitored, have to follow a curfew and be required to look for a job.

Jackson, who pleaded guilty to looting $750,000 from his campaign funds, entered the federal prison system on Nov. 1, 2013. His release date is Sept. 20.

It’s not known yet when his wife, former Ald. Sandi Jackson, will start serving her yearlong prison term. Their sentences were staggered so one parent could be at their Washington home with the children.

Sandi Jackson pleaded guilty to filing false income tax returns, an offshoot of the illegal maneuvers the couple made to convert campaign contributions to personal cash. That money was used to purchase items including a $43,000 Rolex; sundries from Costco; a washer and dryer from Abt, the appliance store; and a holistic retreat in Martha’s Vineyard.

One of Jackson’s brothers, Jonathan, visited him several times in Montgomery. He told the Sun-Times that Jackson, 50, who was suffering from bipolar depression when he entered prison, “is strong and looking well. . . . I am excited to know of my brother’s transfer and imminent release.”

Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who also has suffered from mental illness, told the Associated Press that Jackson told him on a visit that he expects to be released on Thursday and that he wants his family to pick him up. That would include, Kennedy said, his wife and children, Jessica and Jesse III, his father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and his mother, Jacqueline Jackson.