- Associated Press - Thursday, March 26, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was released from an Alabama federal prison early Thursday, two years after pleading guilty to spending $750,000 in campaign money on personal items, his father said.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson described his son’s release from the minimum security federal prison camp at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, as a “joyous reunion” and said the younger Jackson was doing “very well.”

Jackson, a 50-year-old Illinois Democrat, began his sentence on Nov. 1, 2013. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons lists his release date as Sept. 20, 2015. Former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who visited Jackson on Monday, said Jackson would serve out the remainder of his 2½-year term in a Washington, D.C., halfway house. Jackson also is to spend three years on supervised released and complete 500 hours of community service.

Jackson served in Congress from 1995 until he resigned in November 2012.

Jackson’s wife, Sandra Jackson, a former Chicago alderman, was sentenced to a year in prison for filing false joint federal income tax returns. She must serve her term after her husband completes his sentence.

According to court documents, the Jacksons spent campaign money on TV’s, restaurant dinners, an expensive watch and other costly personal items. When Jackson was sentenced the judge scolded him for using the money as a “piggy bank.”

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