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Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. arrives at Baltimore halfway house

Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. arrived at a Baltimore halfway house Thursday night after being released from a federal prison in Alabama, two years after pleading guilty to spending $750,000 in campaign money on personal items.

As he walked into the Volunteers of America Chesapeake facility on Monument Street after a 12-hour drive from Montgomery, Ala., he said he hoped his former constituents in Illinois would give him another chance when he completes his sentence.

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"I've made mistakes, and I'm prayerful and hopeful that we're a country of second chances, that the American people and the people of the city of Chicago will consider me for a second chance," he said.

Jackson, 50, added that he was relieved to have seen his children but disappointed he hadn't been able to visit his ailing grandmother.

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He began his sentence on Oct. 29, 2013, and his release date is Sept. 20, 2015. After that, Jackson must spend three years on supervised release under jurisdiction of the U.S. Probation Office and complete 500 hours of community service.

At some point, it will be his wife's turn to serve out her punishment on a related conviction.

Sandra Jackson, a former Chicago alderman, was sentenced to a year in prison for filing false joint federal income tax returns that knowingly understated the income the couple received. In a concession to the couple's two children, a judge allowed the Jacksons to stagger their sentences, with the husband going first.

Jackson served in Congress from 1995 until he resigned in November 2012. In June 2012 he took medical leave for treatment of bipolar disorder and other issues.

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The Jacksons spent campaign money on fur capes, mounted elk heads, a $43,350, gold-plated men's Rolex watch and Bruce Lee memorabilia, as well as $9,587.64 on children's furniture, according to court filings.

Jackson's resignation ended a once-promising political career that was tarnished by unproven allegations that he was involved in discussions to raise campaign funds for imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in exchange for an appointment to President Barack Obama's vacated U.S. Senate seat. Jackson has denied the allegations.

Speaking generally about prison policy, Ross said home confinement — even within hours or days of release from prison — is a possibility for some inmates, especially those who have stable home environments to which they can return.

For example, after his release from the federal lock-up in Terre Haute, Indiana, in 2013, former Illinois Gov. George Ryan, who served five years on corruption charges, reported to a halfway house in Chicago. Later the same day, Ryan was allowed to go home.

Jackson said he did not know whether he would spend Thursday night at the Baltimore halfway house.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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