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Jackson Jr. in NC prison

Jesse Jackson, Jr.

Jesse Jackson, Jr.

Special to the Trice Edney Newswire from the Richmond Free Press

Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is now behind bars. Once one of the most promising Black politicians in the United States,  Jackson reported to federal prison Oct. 29 to begin serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence for misusing campaign funds, according to a bureau spokesman.

Jackson, a former Democratic congressman and the son of civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., entered a federal correctional facility in Butner, N.C., bureau spokesman Chris Burke said. Jackson had tried to report Oct. 28, but he was turned away for undisclosed reasons. Jackson pleaded guilty in February to misusing about $750,000 in campaign funds to purchase such luxuries as fur capes, celebrity memorabilia, mounted elk heads and a Rolex watch.

His wife, Sandi, a former Chicago City Council member, was sentenced to one year for filing false tax returns that failed to report the campaign money as income. The couple has two children. The judge ordered Mrs. Jackson to report to prison 30 days after her husband is released to reduce the impact on the children.

Former Rep. Jackson served in Congress from1995 until he resigned after re-election in November 2012, citing health reasons. He disappeared from public view in the summer of 2012 and speculation swirled for weeks about his condition. At first, Jackson said he was being treated for exhaustion and his doctor said in July 2012 he was being treated for a “mood disorder.”

Jackson was eventually treated for at least six weeks at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., for bipolar disorder. Jackson was also sentenced to three years supervised release following his prison sentence and ordered to perform 500 hours of community service. Mrs. Jackson was given 12 months supervised release and 200 hours of community service.

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