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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A friend and former House colleague of Jesse Jackson Jr. says Jackson is being released from a federal prison Thursday and into a halfway house.

Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy told The Associated Press he recently spoke with Jackson at the minimum security federal prison camp in Montgomery, Alabama. The son of the civil rights leader has been serving a 2 ½-year sentence after pleading guilty to illegally spending $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items.

Kennedy says the 50-year-old Jackson told him he’d be picked up by his wife, Sandra, his two children and the Rev. and Mrs. Jesse Jackson. They will take him to a Washington, D.C. halfway house.

WGN’s Julie Unruh spoke with Scott Fawell, former Gov. George Ryan’s longtime Chief of Staff.

Fawell spent four plus years behind bars, he said it wasn’t fun and it wasn’t easy.

But leaving those prison walls, he said, is one of the best days of your life, but  getting out doesn’t mean your work at the bureau prisons is quite over.

Jackson began the sentence on Nov. 1, 2013. The Bureau of Prisons lists his release date as Sept. 20, 2015.