"He was a quality spirit," Jackson said. "I loved the guy."
Rev. Jesse Jackson has led Christmas services at the jail for several decades.
Glenda Hatchett of the TV show "Judge Hatchett" will also speak during the week of events.
The civil rights leader said the pending closure, online classes deny students equal access to learning.
Following a tour of the jail Thursday, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart called for reform alongside Jackson.
Jackson helped win Lt. Robert Goodman's release from Syria after his plane was shot down.
EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: The star-studded affair drew onlookers at Promontory Point in Hyde Park Saturday.
The civil rights icon's speech Wednesday sounded like a montage of everything he's ever stood for.
Husband and wife plead guilty to spending thousands from campaign fund, including buying two elk heads.
The minister asked for prayers for his son, Jesse Jackson Jr., and daughter-in-law Sandi Jackson.
Julian DeShazier, 29, of Hyde Park's University Church raps about Chicago violence, love and spirtuality.
Michelle Obama, Rahm Emanuel attend the service as calls to end violence ring out.
At Hadiya's viewing, her godfather says teen provides a "voice for all these people who have passed."
Jackson addressed "no-snitch" culture as police continue the search for Hadiya Pendleton's killer.
Jackson pleads for someone to turn in Hadiya Pendleton's killer during an anti-violence march Saturday.
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