Jesse Jackson Jr.An expert says Illinois has come a long way in rooting out political corruption. But a former congressman's release from a halfway house shows there's still a lot of work to do.

Jesse Jackson Junior will serve three years of supervised release and complete 500 hours of community service. Kent Redfield, political science professor emeritus at the University of Illinois Springfield, says the state's political culture helped cause this.

"If they see a lot of... you know, if everyone else is doing it, there's a corruption there that says 'it's okay, maybe I'm not going to get caught,'" Redfield says.
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Jackson was convicted of using $750,000 of campaign money on personal items, a felony. Some items included mounted elk heads, mink capes and Bruce Lee memorabilia. His wife, former Chicago alderman Sandi Jackson, has yet to serve a prison term on a related conviction.

"At times it really does feel like you're pushing the rock up the hill and it's rolling back down over the top of you," Redfield says. "But I really do think that, compared to when I came here in 1975, we are a lot better in certain ways, but I wouldn't underestimate the problem. And certainly we have a problem."
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