By Jay Levine

(CBS) — Former U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. will soon be released from federal prison.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports Jackson will be released from an Alabama federal prison camp sometime Thursday, transported not by prison guards, but by his family. The feds don’t like to pay for ferrying inmates to facilities where they’ll be able to come and go as they please.

Levine has been told that the Reverend Jesse Jackson along with other family members including Jackson’s wife and children, will accompany him to a halfway house not far from their home in Washington D.C.

The former congressman has been at Montgomery Federal Prison Camp on Maxwell Air Force Base for nearly a year, having transferred here from Butner Federal Prison in North Carolina to attend a drug and alcohol treatment program. That cut six months off a sentence, imposed by a federal court judge after both Jackson and his wife Sandi, the former alderman, pleaded guilty plea to misusing campaign contributions.

Jackson had tried to convince the judge to let him serve the time for both of them.

While the judge denied that request but did appear to take into account the impact on the couple’s kids in her sentence, giving them the option to choose which one went to jail first.

“This is a once in a lifetime deal what this judge did as far as staggering the sentences so there really is no precedent for this,” said CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller.

He has served just over half of his 30 month sentence, 17 months. He’s expected to be released after 23 months, according to the federal prison inmate locator which shows Jackson still at Montgomery tonight, with a formal release date of September 20 of this year. The countdown to that starts Thursday.

“He will go into the halfway house and it’ll be up to the Federal Bureau of Prisons to decide what the rules are, what the conditions are, his hours there, and how long he has to stay there,” Miller said. “They’re gonna make sure every inmate place to go or they’re going to keep him in halfway house.”

Miller says he likely will not spend much time in the halfway house.

Sandi Jackson is supposed to start her sentence 30 days after his ends. Which likely means October 20, but requests for delays are usually granted. An appeal for clemency or commutation on the grounds the Jacksons have already lost enough and their children suffered enough, wouldn’t be surprising.