Jesse Jackson Jr. enters prison in North Carolina
BY LYNN SWEET, NATASHA KORECKI, MITCH DUDEK AND STEFANO ESPOSITO Staff Reporters October 28, 2013 8:42PM
FILE - In this March 20, 2012 file photo, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill. speaks in Chicago. A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner says he has received letter of resignation from Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Wednesday. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)
Updated: December 1, 2013 7:57AM
Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is now in custody in federal prison in North Carolina Tuesday morning after some initial confusion on Monday when he tried to turn himself in but couldn’t.
Jackson begins serving his 2 1/2 year term this week. He showed up at a North Carolina prison facility Monday, but was apparently turned away.
Jackson is “now in our custody,” said a Bureau of Prison spokesman. He’s been assigned to a minimum security camp.
In an unusual twist Monday, after dodging the media for more than a year, Jackson issued a news release announcing his surrender to a North Carolina prison facility, his expected visitor list and even a mailing address for those wishing to write to him.
“He is still in his recovery and he is still diligent in [treating] his bipolar and his depression. In many ways we’re different than a year ago,” the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. told the Sun-Times Monday.
The South Shore Democrat reported to a federal correctional facility in Butner, N.C., according to his father and a news release issued by Jackson Jr.’s lawyer, C.K. Hoffler.
The younger Jackson, 48, pleaded guilty to misusing more than $750,000 in campaign funds in August. His wife, former Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th), also pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns. She is scheduled to begin serving her year in prison after her husband completes his sentence.
The former congressman sounds ready for company.
“As Jackson begins to serve his term, he is aware that many people have expressed an interest and desire to visit him while he’s incarcerated,” the release said.
Hoffler is planning to “coordinate these visits, which may begin as early as Nov. 8, 2013, with the arrival of Jackson’s family.”
Other expected visitors included Nation of Islam leader Farrakhan, Pastors Rick Warren and Anthony Miller from California; the Rev. Otis Moss Jr. from Cleveland, Ohio; U.S. Rep. Marsha Fudge (D-Ohio), chairman of Congressional Black Caucus; U.S. Rep Hank Johnson of Georgia, and crisis-management expert Judy Smith, the inspiration for the ABC-TV show “Scandal. “
Before those visits begin, Jackson might find himself rubbing elbows with Bernie Madoff, who’s serving a 150-year sentence for running a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme, or former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge, who is serving 41/2 in Butner for lying about his role in torturing criminal suspects to gain confessions.
And Jackson is not the first former Chicago congressman to serve time at Butner. His Second Congressional District predecessor, Mel Reynolds, also served time there for bank and campaign fraud.
Jackson issued no statement of his own, but he “apologized again and expressed sincere regret for causing so much pain and sadness to his family, his constituents and his friends,” according to the release.
“Jesse asked that his heartfelt thanks be extended again to all of those whose prayers and kindness towards him and his family have helped him through this extraordinarily difficult time,” his lawyer said.
Jackson and his wife have a son, Jesse Jackson III, and a daughter, Jessica.
The release also provided a mailing address for the new federal inmate “for those who have expressed an interest in writing the Congressman:
Jesse L. Jackson, Jr.; Reg. No. 32451-016; FCI Butner Medium I Satellite Camp; P.O. Box 1000; Butner, N.C., 27509.