Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife Sandi Jackson will both serve jail time for crimes related to the former Representative's misuse of campaign funds. Former Rep. Jackson will serve two and a half years, while Sandi, a former Chicago alderman, will serve a year.
Jesse Jackson Jr., the son of Rev. Jesse Jackson, faced one count of felony wire and mail fraud for the misuse of about $750,000 in campaign money. Sandi Jackson will spend a year in prison for failing to report $600,000 in income on the couple's tax returns during her husband's campaign fund scheme, and will pay $22,000 in restitution. Both will then serve periods of supervised release, three years for Jesse and 12 months for Sandi. Jesse Jackson's plea to serve his wife's time for her was denied by judge, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Sandi will likely serve her time at a minimum security women's facility in Florida, while Jesse Jackson could be placed at the Federal Prison Camp in Montgomery, Alabama.
In the courtroom, Jesse Jackson Jr. asked for mercy in his and his wife's sentencing to federal District Judge Amy Berman Jackson (no relation). Jackson invoked his previous diagnosis of bipolar disorder: “This has been an extraordinarily difficult time for my family," he said, adding, "I’ve had to raise many questions to myself about did I confuse success with sickness...Bipolar was never part of my lexicon." But Judge Jackson told Jesse Jackson that the evidence “points to only one conclusion: and that is that you knew better.” Prosecutors sought 4 years of jail time for Jackson.
According to the Sun-Times, Jackson could get as much as 4 months off for good behavior, reducing his sentence to just over two years. But Sandi Jackson, was specifically sentenced to one year, and not one year and a day, which means she is not eligible for a "good behavior" reduction: she will have to serve the whole thing. The couple, who have two school-aged kids, will be allowed to serve their sentences staggered out, with Jesse Jackson requesting to go first.