|Freedom: Jesse Jackson Jr. is pictured here on Monday being released from the Baltimore halfway house he lived in after serving 17 months in prison|
Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was released on Monday morning from a Baltimore halfway house, where he'd been living since his release from an Alabama federal prison in March. Jackson served 17 months of a 30-month sentence.
Jackson, 50, was released from the Volunteers of America halfway house shortly before 9 a.m. EDT and left in one of two black SUVs that were there for him. Jackson, an Illinois Democrat, moved into the halfway house from prison, where he was serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence for spending $750,000 in campaign money on personal items.
|Star treatment: Despite living in a halfway house, Jackson was picked up by a driver in a black SUV|
While at home, Jackson will be monitored either by daily phone and periodic personal contacts or through an ankle monitor, reports The Chicago Tribune. Felons are moved from prison to halfway homes to home confinement in order to give them increasing amounts of responsibility. At some point, it will be his wife's turn to serve out her punishment on a related conviction.
Political star: Jackson Jr's father, Rev. Jesse Jackson, pictured in March (left) and at a political campaign in 1976, is a famous political activist
|Fall from grace: Jackson said after serving a prison sentence that he hopes for a 'second chance'|
The elder Jackson has said he didn't know when his daughter-in-law, Sandra Jackson, a former Chicago alderman, would have to report to prison. She was sentenced to a year in prison for filing false joint federal income tax returns that knowingly understated the income the couple received.
In a concession to the couple's two children, a judge allowed the Jacksons to stagger their sentences, with the husband going first. Jackson was a rising political star who served in Congress from 1995 until he resigned in November 2012. In June 2012, he took medical leave for treatment of bipolar disorder and other issues.
The Jacksons spent campaign money on fur capes, mounted elk heads, a $43,350 gold-plated men's Rolex watch, and Bruce Lee memorabilia, as well as $9,587.64 on children's furniture, according to court filings.
Jackson's resignation ended a once-promising political career that was tarnished by unproven allegations that he was involved in discussions to raise campaign funds for imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in exchange for an appointment to President Barack Obama's vacated U.S. Senate seat. Jackson has denied the allegations.