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Updated 10/29/13 – 5:54 p.m.
(CBS) — A day after he apparently was turned away from a federal prison in North Carolina, former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. has been allowed to surrender to federal custody three days early to begin serving his 30-month sentence.
U.S. Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke said Jackson was in custody at the minimum security prison camp at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex as of 10 a.m. Chicago time.
There had been confusion over whether Jackson was in prison since Monday afternoon, when a Jackson spokeswoman sent media outlets in Chicago an email stating Jackson had reported to Butner. However, prison officials denied Jackson was in custody on Monday. The Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday morning the U.S. Bureau of Prisons told Jackson he couldn’t surrender to federal custody on Monday, because he arrived too early.
According to a copy of the written judgment from Jackson’s sentencing, he was not allowed to report to prison before Friday, Nov. 1, but federal authorities are now making accommodations for Jackson, and he reported to Butner Tuesday morning.
CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine previously reported Jackson wanted to start his 30-month sentence as soon as possible – and as quietly as possible — at the low-security prison camp at Butner.
Jackson was escorted to the prison by Hoffler and a former U.S. House colleague, G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina.
“He was ready to pay his debt and that’s why he wanted to report to Butner. Nothing more, nothing less,” said Jackson’s Attorney C.K. Hoffler in a press conference Tuesday.
Jackson is inmate number 32451-016. Once behind bars, he will be one of 1,337 inmates at the low-security prison camp at Butner. The complex includes a federal medical center, which provides care Jackson will need for his bipolar disorder.
Butner is considered by some to be the crown jewel of the federal prison system and the closest thing to a so-called “Club Fed.” It is located about an hour north of Raleigh and 260 miles from his Washington D.C. home.
Jackson could serve the last few months of his sentence in a halfway house, which means he could be out of prison by mid-2015.
Jackson earlier this year pleaded guilty to misusing $750,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses, while his wife Sandi Jackson, a former Chicago alderman, admitted she failed to report that money as income. Both resigned their public offices.
Sandi Jackson will serve a shorter, one-year sentence once her husband is released.
Sandi and Jesse Jackson Jr. are in the process of paying $750,000 in restitution to the federal government.