By quietly reporting, Jackson avoided the crush of media that swirled around other prison-bound Illinois politicians. For example, when Rod Blagojevich reported to a Colorado prison last year to serve a 14-year term for corruption, helicopters hovered above and cars filled with journalists trailed the former Illinois governor.

But Hoffler insisted Jackson wasn’t seeking to avoid the media’s glare.

Jackson’s fellow inmates at Butner include Wall Street fraudster Bernie Madoff and ex-Chicago police Lt. Jon Burge, convicted of lying about police torture of suspects, according to the Bureau of Prisons. However, it’s unclear if Jackson will have contact with them at the sprawling complex, which includes high- and low-level security sections.

The once-rising star of the Illinois Democratic Party who displayed such a fondness for luxury, will have to perform a menial job behind bars; janitorial work is typically assigned to new inmates, the Butner guide says. His life will be highly regimented, including having to wake daily at 6 a.m.

As part of the guilty plea he entered early this year, Jackson admitted to spending his donors’ money on more than 3,000 personal items, including $60,857 at restaurants, nightclubs and lounges; $43,350 for a gold Rolex watch; and around $5,300 for mounted elk heads.

Jackson’s wife, Sandi, was given a yearlong sentence for filing false tax returns related to the spending. In a concession to their two school-age children, the judge allowed the Jacksons to stagger their prison terms.

Jesse Jackson represented his Chicago-area constituents in the House from 1995 until he resigned last November. He stepped down following months of speculation about his health and legal problems.


Associated Press writers Kate Brumback in Atlanta


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