RALEIGH DURHAM, NC - Jesse Jackson Jr. was admitted into a federal prison in North Carolina to begin a 2 1/2 year prison service.
Jackson arrived at the federal prison in Butner, North Carolina on Monday, but was initially turned away because he was several days early. After some paperwork, he was admitted around 10 a.m. Tuesday.
Jackson wasn't due at the prison until Friday, but had hoped to avoid the media spotlight by showing up early.
The former congressman from Chicago was accompanied by Representative G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina, with whom he served for several years.
"Congressman Jackson and I have been good friends for many years and I am happy to report that he is in good spirits, all things considered," Butterfield said through a news release.
Last August, Jackson was sentenced to 2 1/2 years for using $750,000 of his campaign money on home improvements, furs, entertainment and travel. Last week, Jackson's attorneys told a judge he could only pay $200,000 of it back now, but he'll sell his Washington DC home to raise more money.
While Jackson is expected to be assigned to a low-security wing of the prison outside of the Raleigh-Durham area, it'll be a far fall from the positions he previously enjoyed. The son of a civil rights leader, a promising politician, and even after his conviction, he continued to enjoy "the good life." The ABC 7 I-Team spotted Jackson pool-side at a posh Beverly Hills hotel in August.
Jackson is expected to spend several weeks going through prison orientation, and he will be assigned a job.
Interesting to note, Jackson's publicist made no mention of any Jackson family members accompanying him during his final few hours of freedom.
Jackson is said to be looking forward to the time when he can have visitors.