There’s good news for the family of former U.S. Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. After serving part of his sentence, he is set to be released from prison months earlier than planned. Jackson was originally sentenced in August 2013 to 30 months in prison over misuse of campaign funds. He was originally expected to be in prison until at least October 2015. However, he is scheduled to be released from a federal prison in Alabama on Thursday to a Washington, D.C. halfway house to serve the rest of his term.
Jackson blamed his extravagant spending on items like fur capes, gold Rolex watches and luxury trips on bipolar disorder. He was treated for this condition at the Mayo Clinic in May 2012 while he was still a congressman. His wife, Sandi Jackson, as part of a sentencing agreement, will now begin her 30-month sentence in federal prison for her role in the crime.
When Jackson was incarcerated, he became aware of the many prisoners, especially Black men, who suffer from mental illnesses and promises to become an activist for them. He now speaks of the “felonization” of Black men and hopes that through his upcoming efforts he will be able to assist Black ex-convicts with mental disorders reintegrate into society.