Jesse Jackson Jr. officially an inmate at NC federal prison - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

After 1-day delay, Jesse Jackson Jr. officially an inmate at NC federal prison

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Jackson's Atlanta attorney, C.K. Hoffler, talks to the press Jackson's Atlanta attorney, C.K. Hoffler, talks to the press
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Former Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. officially became an inmate at the federal prison in North Carolina as of 10 a.m. CST on Tuesday.

An Atlanta-based law firm confirmed Monday evening that Jackson Jr. reported to a federal correctional facility in Butner, North Carolina to begin serving his sentence, but as of 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, the Federal Bureau of Prison's website listed Jackson as "not in custody." After Jackson was taken into custody, the website listed Jackson's inmate number as 32451-016.

Jackson's attorney, C.K. Hoffler, described the administrative problem as a "snafu" involving his reporting date. But she insists prison authorities were contacted ahead of time to coordinate Jackson's arrival.

The intake paperwork at the prison must match the judge's order when a prisoner is taken into federal custody to begin serving his or her sentence. A FBOP spokesperson told FOX 32 News that they did not match, so Jackson did not spend the night in jail Monday night.

Hoffler told reporters in Atlanta Tuesday that she was contacted by Bureau of Prisons personnel and asked to pick Jackson up about two hours after dropping him off at a North Carolina prison. The former congressman then spent Monday night at a hotel and reported to prison again Tuesday morning. 

She said Jackson wanted to report early to begin "paying his debt."

Jackson turned himself in a few days earlier than expected, which helped him avoid the spectacle that accompanied trips to prison by Rod Blagojevich and George Ryan. He's doing his time for spending hundreds of thousands of dollars from his campaign fund on luxury goods like furs and cashmere capes -- the likes of which he won't see in his new home in prison.

According to the office of Atlanta attorney Tricia CK Hoffler, Jackson showed up at the prison with Hoffler, and a former colleague from Capitol Hill, Congressman G.K. Butterfield.

Butterfield said in statement, "I am happy to report that he is in good spirits, all things considered."

Jackson himself has said little publicly in recent years, his last remarks coming after his sentencing in mid-August.

According to CK Hoffler, at the prison, "Jesse asked that his heartfelt thanks be extended again to all of those whose prayers and kindness towards him and his family have helped him through this extraordinarily difficult time."

Butner was not Jackson's first choice. He preferred a prison in Montgomery, Alabama. The North Carolina facility is a federal prison camp more relaxed conditions than the adjacent medium security facilities. Jackson may have been assigned there because the complex includes a medical center, which could help with his psychiatric issues.

It also happens to be the same prison where Jackson's predecessor in congress, Mel Reynolds, served time. And the medium security facility next door is home to convicted Ponzi mastermind Bernie Madoff.

At his new home, according to the prison handbook, Jackson will be required to make his bed every day, and sweep and mop his personal living areas. Inmates, it says, receive "nutritious, appealing meals" including "salad bars," and "heart healthy options."

And all inmates are expected to have jobs. They are allowed to spend up to $290 a month at the prison commissary. Items listed for sale there include everything from pinochle cards to animal crackers.

Jackson's wife Sandi was sentenced in August to a year in prison. She won't report until after Jackson has served his 30-month sentence.

The couple still has to repay the $750,000 they stole. Jesse has liquidated a retirement fund and they'll be selling their Washington D.C. home to come up with the cash.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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