Jun. 26, 2015

Jesse Jackson, Jr. to be released from prison Thursday 3/26/15, Kennedy says

Story by Jeremy Diamond and AnneClaire Stapleton

Former congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. is set to be released Thursday 3/26/15 from prison, and transferred to a Washington, D.C., halfway house, friend and former Rep. Patrick Kennedy told CNN.

Jackson has been serving his 30-month sentence at a federal prison camp in Montgomery, Alabama for the past year, said Kennedy, who visited Jackson in prison Monday.

"His wife and two children and parents are picking him up," Kennedy told CNN on Tuesday.

Jackson pleaded guilty to federal charges in February 2013, admitting he diverted about $750,000 in campaign funds for his personal use. His wife also pleaded guilty to federal charges and will begin serving her one-year sentence after Jackson is released from federal custody.

The two were authorized to serve their sentence separately because they have young children.

Jackson, a former Democratic congressman from Chicago, was national co-chairman of then-Sen. Barack Obama's 2008 campaign committee. He resigned from Congress after the allegations erupted, citing physical and mental health issues, including bipolar disorder.

Kennedy said he thought Jackson still had several more "weeks or months" left in his sentence and was visiting Jackson in prison "to let him know he still had friends who were here for him when he got out."

But Jackson told Kennedy during the visit that he was being released earlier than anticipated.

"He said Patrick 'I'm gonna be getting out sooner than I thought, getting out this Thursday at 5 a.m.,'" Kennedy recalled.

Jackson's lawyer and family have not yet returned requests for comment.

Jackson's father is civil rights activist and one-time presidential candidate Rev. Jesse Jackson.