Former Illinois U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. on Tuesday morning reported to a North Carolina federal prison to begin serving a 2 1/2-year prison term for misusing campaign funds.
Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke said Jackson officially entered Butner Correctional Center near Raleigh at 10 a.m. CT.
The confirmation comes after confusion earlier in the morning about Jackson's whereabouts. Jackson's spokeswoman, Bunnie Jackson-Ransom, said Jackson reported Monday but prison officials refuted that, saying the former congressman was turned away because he reported too early.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman had previously said Jackson would need "to surrender for service of sentence no earlier than Nov. 1, 2013.
"We're bound by what the judge says," said Burke. "We interpret the judge's order and make sure we're in compliance. It's a case by case basis."
The Bureau of Prisons website, which indicated Jackson was "not in BOP custody," is updated once daily, Burke said. The site lists Jackson's inmate number as 32451-016.
A Monday statement said Jackson went to the facility accompanied by former North Carolina U.S. Rep. GK Butterfield and his Atlanta-based lawyer, CK Hoffler.
Butterfield said Jackson was in good spirits, adding that the new inmate will begin receiving visitors as early as Nov. 8, which will include his family, several pastors, Minister Louis Farrakhan and Rep. Marsha Fudge the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
The Butner complex is considered one of the least demanding facilities in the federal prison system and has been home to many high-profile criminals, NBCNews.com reported. Current inmates include Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff; Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard; and Omar Ahmad Rahman, the "Blind Sheik" convicted of planning the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Former inmates include TV evangelist Jim Bakker and John Hinckley Jr., who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981.
Jackson was sentenced in August after pleading guilty to charges he used campaign cash on personal items such as memorabilia related to stars like Bruce Lee, Michael Jackson, and Jimi Hendrix. Several items the couple turned over to authorities were auctioned off in September.
Jackson's wife, Sandi, was sentenced to a yearlong sentence for filing false tax returns. In a concession to their two school-aged children, the judge allowed the Jacksons to stagger their sentences.
It was announced earlier this week that Jackson had agreed to put his Washington, D.C. home on the market. The proceeds from the sale would go toward the $750,000 forfeiture he owes the government.
Jackson was replaced in Congress by Robin Kelly, who easily won a special election to fill the seat.
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