The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Jackson Jr.: Send Me To Prison First

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jun 18, 2013 2:30PM

Photo credit: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

Former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. did the chivalrous thing Monday and suggested that if prosecutors insist on him and wife Sandi both serving prison terms when the two are sentenced next month that he should be the first to go behind bars.

Federal prosecutors said earlier this month they want Sandi Jackson, the former 7th Ward alderman, to serve her sentence first. Her lawyers filed paperwork Monday requesting she only be placed on probation, saying the couple’s children “need their mother.”

Jackson’s attorneys filed papers in federal court indicating his income consists only of his federal pension and Social Security payments, payments would be suspended while he was incarcerated (although the lawyers wouldn’t elaborate which of the payments would stop), the family “is in significant financial peril” and that “Mrs. Jackson would be able to work and stabilize the family’s finances” while he served out his sentence. Jackson is too young to start drawing Social Security retirement checks, but the organization does mete out payments to people who can’t work for at least a year as a result of a medical condition.

As we all know, Jackson has been receiving treatment for bipolar disorder since he took a leave of absence from Congress last June. His attorneys are also concerned he won’t receive adequate treatment for his diagnoses while in prison. Prosecutors have reserved the right to examine Jackson independently if his attorneys attempt to use his medical condition as a mitigating factor in his sentencing. Although Club Fed may be decidedly less strenuous than a standard prison, it can’t be mistaken for the Mayo Clinic.

Jackson pleaded guilty in February to using $750,000 in campaign funds for personal use. Sandi Jackson pleaded guilty to tax evasion charges. Attorneys for the Jacksons also filed papers asking for leniency in their prison terms as a result of the “good works” they did while in office. Prosecutors filed rebuttals insisting the Jacksons should not receive reduced sentences for doing their jobs.