Inside Bill Cosby’s Pennsylvania Prison Cell and His New Life Behind Bars

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Inside Bill Cosby’s Pennsylvania Prison Cell and His New Life Behind Bars

Until 2028 at the most, Bill Cosby will be known as inmate No. NN7687.

The 81-year-old actor and comedian, star of The Cosby Show who was once dubbed “America’s Dad,” was on Tuesday sentenced to three to 10 years in prison after being convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. After his sentencing, Cosby was taken into custody and transferred to Pennsylvania’s State Correctional Institute at Phoenix, a maximum security prison. Upon arrival, Cosby was given a few basic necessities—a uniform, toiletries, linens, towels and state-issued boots, the Department of Corrections told CNN, adding that the actor was in “good spirits.”

He was given one of the facilities’ few single cells in a unit adjacent to the infirmary. Such accommodations are typically reserved for inmates serving life sentences.

A typical cell at SCI Phoenix contains a small metal bed or double bed, a tiny metal closet, a personal metal table with a bolted down stool and a small metal toilet connected to a small metal sink, situated near the doorway. There is also an intercom inside. After a 10-day classification and diagnostic process, Cosby will be able to purchase a personal TV. He can also buy a radio or tablet in order to use email and play games, Amy Worden, press secretary for the state Department of Corrections, told E! News.

Bill Cosby, State Correctional Institute at Phoenix, Pennsylvania, Prison

Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

Unlike in many other prisons, the cells are air-conditioned. In addition, SCI Phoenix inmates are able to shower in single shower stalls as opposed to communal showers.

“We are taking all of the necessary precautions to ensure Mr. Cosby’s safety and general welfare in our institution,” Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said in a statement. “The long-term goal is for him to be placed in the general population to receive the programming required during his incarceration.”

In gen-pop, rows of prison cells line two stories that surround a small open rec area filled with metal tables and bolted down stools.

Bill Cosby, State Correctional Institute at Phoenix, Pennsylvania, Prison

Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

Rows of similar tables fill a mess hall.

Bill Cosby, State Correctional Institute at Phoenix, Pennsylvania, Prison

Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

Outside the buildings, walkways and exercise yards are surrounded by barbed wire fences. These sights are typical of many jails.

Bill Cosby, Pennsylvania’s State Correctional Facility at Phoenix

Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

The prison begun operating only in July, having replaced an older jail, and houses more than 3,800 inmates. Prisoners are offered treatment, educational, vocational and recreational programs. All inmates have the opportunity to work. They also have access to a non-denominational chapel, a barber shop and a gym. Cosby must undergo lifetime mandatory sex offender counseling as part of his sentence and he will be able to complete part of it in prison.

During his time behind bars, Cosby will also be allowed phone calls and visitation and the opportunity to exercise during the classification process, the group said.

 

Here is a typical schedule for an SCI Phoenix prisoner:

2:00 a.m.: Count 
5:15 a.m.: Dietary workers escorted to kitchen
6:10 a.m.: Count (standing)
6:45 a.m.: Inmates line up for kitchen work, special dietary needs and to receive medications
7:00 a.m.: Inmates line for breakfast
7:45 a.m.: Inmates line up for work
8:00 a.m.: Inmates line up for classes, treatment programs, library time
8:10 a.m.: Access to main yard according to unit and zone schedule
8:15 a.m.: Inmates line up for activities
8:20 a.m.: Inmate line up to go to chapel
8:30 a.m.: Inmate kitchen workers line up to return to units
9:05 a.m.: Inmates restricted to cells and unit yards
9:10 a.m.: Inmates allowed in main yard
9:25 a.m.: Inmates return from classes
9:30 a.m.: Inmates line up for classes, treatment programs, library time
10:10 a.m.: Inmate return from main yard and unit yards
10:15 a.m.: Inmates return from work, line up for activities
10:25 a.m.: Inmates line up for kitchen work
10:30 a.m.: Inmates line up for special dietary needs
10:45 a.m.: Inmates return from classes, treatment programs, library
11:00 a.m.: Inmates line up for lunch
12:00 p.m.: Inmates line up to return from kitchen work
12:25 p.m.: Cease inmate movement
12:30 p.m.: Count (standing)
1:00 p.m.: Inmates line up for work
1:10 p.m.: Inmates line up for classes, treatment programs, library time
1:15 p.m.: Inmates allowed main yard time
1:20 p.m.: Inmates line up for activities
1:25 p.m.: Inmates line up for chapel time
1:45 p.m.: Cease inmate movement
2:15 p.m.: Resume inmate movement
2:50 p.m.: Inmates return from work
3:00 p.m.: Inmates line up for classes, inmates return from program services
3:15 p.m.: End of main yard and unit yard time
2:30 p.m.: Inmates line up for kitchen work
4:15 p.m.: Cease inmate movement
4:30 p.m.: Count (standing)
4:45 p.m.: Inmates line up for special dietary needs and to receive medications
4:55 p.m.: Inmate line up for supper
5:50 p.m. Line for supper is complete, inmates allowed to proceed
6:00 p.m. Inmates line up for classes, treatment programs, library time
6:15 p.m.: Inmates allowed main yard, unit yard and dayroom time
6:45 p.m.: Commence evening medication line
8:15 p.m.: Main yard, unit yard and dayroom time end
8:20 p.m.: Passes return
8:55 p.m. Cease inmate movement
9:00 p.m. Evening visits conclude, count (standing)
10:30 p.m.: Night shift food service workers report for duty

In addition, three additional randoms counts are conducted between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

During Cosby’s sentencing, his lawyer said that “incarceration would impose excessive hardship on him given his disability and his age,” adding, “How does he fight off people who are trying to extort him for a walk to the mess hall?”

“The Department of Corrections has had high-profile inmates before, and I’m sure we’ll have them again, so it’s not that much out of the ordinary. He’ll be treated like other inmates,” Worden told CNN.

—Reporting by Holly Passalaqua



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