(CBS) — CBS 2 has learned that former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. — currently serving a 30 month jail term for misuse of campaign funds — was driven by a family friend from North Carolina to Alabama last Friday.

Jackson transferred from one minimum-security prison to another to enrol in a special inmate alcohol-abuse program.

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CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports.

Montgomery Federal Prison is located at Maxwell Air Force Base, not far from Birmingham. Jackson got there Friday night, following a 550-mile, eight-hour drive from Butner, N.C. He signed himself out of one facility and into the other.

He left Butner’s minimum-security camp at 9 a.m. Friday morning. His mother, Jacqueline, and sister Santita were there for what’s called a “furlough transfer,” in a friend’s SUV.

The vehicle followed a route ordered by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, checking in every few hours.

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Jackson had requested the transfer to enroll in an alcohol-abuse program, which Butner didn’t have. Completing the program could cut six months off his 30-month jail term. Between that, good behavior and halfway-house time, Jackson could be released from prison around the end of this year.

Jackson’s stay at Butner was not without controversy, but several well-placed sources deny it led to Jackson’s request for a transfer.

An investigation into his helping illiterate inmates with clemency petitions led to his being isolated from other inmates in what the Bureau of Prisons calls “special housing” for a few days.

But his subsequent transfer from one minimum-security prison to another is an indication no disciplinary action was taken or even considered.

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Jackson’s name and celebrity makes him stand out behind bars. That’s not easy for someone simply trying to serve his time and get out.