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Jesse Jackson Jr. Begins Prison Term Several Days Early

Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois, seen here leaving federal court after being sentenced to 30 months in prison, reported to prison in North Carolina several days before the Nov. 1 deadline.

Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois leaves federal court in August after being sentenced to 30 months in prison. Jackson reported to prison in North Carolina several days before the Nov. 1 deadline.

Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has begun his prison sentence, resolving a brief period of confusion over his status. It seems that Jackson tried to turn himself in to federal prison officials Monday -- but he was four days early. The official deadline for his surrender for a 30-month prison term had been set for Friday.

"He is in our custody, as of about a minute ago," Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke tells The Chicago Tribune this morning.

Jackson reported to the federal Butner Correctional Center near Raleigh, N.C., on Monday, according to reports and a spokeswoman; he did so again on Tuesday and was accepted into custody.

"He had been ordered to report to a federal prison camp or correctional institution no earlier than November 1," CNN reports. "The Bureau of Prisons said it couldn't comment on why Jackson reported earlier than ordered."

A former warden at the prison tells the Tribune that an early arrival at the prison can't be held unless the sentencing judge's order is amended.

A former rising star from Illinois, Jackson is being punished for taking $750,000 in campaign funds for his personal use; his wife, Sandi was sentenced to a yearlong prison term for not reporting $600,000 in income on her federal tax return.

Jackson now joins disgraced financier Bernie Madoff as an inmate at Butner, the Tribune says.

Because the Jacksons have a school-age son and daughter, they are being allowed to serve their sentences one after the other.

Rep. G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina, who accompanied Jackson to prison, said he "was in good spirits entering the prison, all things considered," the AP says.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit www.npr.org.

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