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Growing up, many of us watched Bill Cosby on The Cosby Show. He was the TV dad who raised his kids with love, discipline, respect, and humor. He was also the guy in the Jello commercials, as well as the star of Fat Albert. If you were a kid in the 80s, you knew who Bill Cosby was.
So, when dozens of women came forward and accused him of sexual misconduct, it came as quite the shock. Cosby has faced accusations of rape, drug-facilitated sexual assault, and sexual battery. The earliest incidents were alleged to have taken place in the mid-1960s, and they spanned all the way until 2008.
Cosby has always denied any allegations of wrongdoing and has maintained his innocence. But in 2018, the entertainer was convicted of three counts of aggravated indecent assault against a Toronto woman. As a result, he was sentenced to three to ten years in state prison and ordered to pay a $25,000 fine plus court costs.
Cosby appealed the verdict in 2019. It was subsequently upheld and granted an appeal by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Keep reading to find out the answer to today’s questions: What prison is Bill Cosby in? In this blog post I will cover the following topics:
On the day that Cosby was sentenced, he was placed in the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Eagleville, Pennsylvania. Hours later, he was transferred to the State Correctional Institution Phoenix, or SCI Phoenix in Collegeville. The maximum-security facility is managed by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.
SCI Phoenix is a state-of-the-art prison that opened just a few months before Cosby arrived. The facility houses nearly 4,000 inmates, and offers educational and vocational classes, self-improvement classes, sex offender treatment, recreational programs, and jobs at the garment factory, shoe factory, and laundry.
When “America’s Dad” arrived, he was given some basic necessities, like his prison-issued uniforms, boots, toiletries, linens, and towels. He was placed in one of the single cells near the infirmary, which is usually something they do for inmates who are serving a life sentence.
The single air-conditioned cell features a small metal bed, a metal closet, a metal table with a bolted down stool, and a small metal toilet connected to a small sink. After some time, Cosby was allowed to buy electronics, clothing, food, and other items from the commissary.
“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 at the time.
“The long-term goal is for him to be placed in the general population to receive the programming required during his incarceration.”
While behind bars, Cosby is allowed phone calls and visits. He also has access to the gym and library. He’s also required to undergo lifetime mandatory sex offender counseling as part of his sentence, and he’s completing part of that in prison.
A typical schedule for an SCI Phoenix prisoner looks something like this:
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 up 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
There are also three random counts done between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am.
For those who believe Cosby is getting special treatment while he’s behind bars because he’s a celebrity, the DOC press secretary says that’s not the case.
“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,” DOC press secretary Amy Worden told CNN.
In 2019, Cosby said during an interview from prison that he calls his small prison cell at SCI Phoenix his “penthouse.” He also revealed that he spends a lot of time speaking to fellow inmates as part of the prison reform program Mann Up.
The Mann Up program was designed to encourage and empower African-American men who strive for respect and dignity and to put their families first.
“I don’t belong to the Mann Up Association, but it’s a privilege to come in and speak,” Cosby said. “I never wanted them to lord me up. This is a great privilege.”
“I’m not a psychiatrist, and I’m not a psychologist. I’m an educator, and what I look forward to is talking to this group of 400 or so men. Some of them here are in their 70s, in their 50s, their 40s, 30s and 20s. I tell them what I know and what I feel.”
According to Cosby’s spokesperson Andrew Wyatt, the 82-year-old actor is making the most of his time behind bars and is doing “extremely well.”
Speaking of the Mann Up Program, Wyatt said, “These are guys that are going to be paroled in a few months, and he [Cosby] is talking to these guys because a lot of them have been in prison… and they are afraid of going back to (their) communities. They viewed him as their father figure. To them, he is America’s dad.”
Wyatt added that Cosby meets with inmates one-on-one to talk, often while he’s eating.
“He’s extremely popular,” Wyatt said. “Some of them come up to him and want to just talk and want to talk about various things like The Cosby Show and (other celebrities).”
Are you surprised that Bill Cosby is so popular in prison? Let us know in the comments below.
Sources: Bill Cosby is 'extremely popular' in prison, 'looks amazing' after weight loss, rep says https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2019/06/18/bill-cosby-jail-losing-weight-giving-motivational-speeches/1490124001/ Bill Cosby guilty on all three counts in indecent assault trial https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/26/us/bill-cosby-trial/index.html Bill Cosby Calls Trial a “Setup” in Rare Prison Interview https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/tv/tv-news/bill-cosby-life-prison-calls-trial-a-set-up-jurors-imposters-1257926/ Inside Bill Cosby's Pennsylvania Prison Cell and His New Life Behind Bars https://www.eonline.com/news/971737/inside-bill-cosby-s-pennsylvania-prison-cell-and-his-new-life-behind-bars\
Natalie earned her Bachelors degree in Journalism from the University of Kansas, and has worked in television and radio during her career. When she was a 19-year-old sophomore at KU, she got her first on-air job as a sports reporter for a CBS-TV affiliate. In 2013, she was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the possession and production of marijuana. She was released in 2017. We've kept her last name off of our website so that she does not experience any professional hardship for her contributions.
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