‘It’s a place no one wants to be’: Former inmates grateful for Rev. Jackson’s Christmas gesture

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CHICAGO — For four Cook County inmates, Christmas was about freedom and not presents.

Reverend Jesse Jackson has been visiting jails on Christmas Day for the past 40 years.

“We jail too many people for unnecessary reasons,” Jackson said.

As part of his visit, he bails some non-violent offenders out of jail. It’s part of his goal to reform jail sentencing in hopes to find alternative options for low-level offenders.

Aaron Kinzer was one of the four bailed out by Jackson on Christmas.

“Going to jail is hard,” Kinzer said. “It’s a place nobody wants to be, but coming home, I feel ever better.”

Kinzer said his new focus is living right and getting an education.

“It shows that I got somebody in my corner that cares,” Kinzer said. “I wanna be an engineer.”

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