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Is Bill Cosby Still in Prison?

Bill Cosby was once known as “America’s Dad” for his role as the lovable Cliff Huxtable on the 1980s sitcom The Cosby Show. But in recent years, his reputation has been shattered by multiple accusations of sexual assault. In 2018, Cosby was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004 and sentenced to 3 to 10 years in prison. So is Bill Cosby still behind bars today? Let’s take a closer look at his conviction, time in prison so far, and chances of an early release.

Bill Cosby’s Conviction and Sentencing

In April 2018, Bill Cosby was found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and assaulting Andrea Constand at his home in 2004. Constand was a Temple University employee whom Cosby had mentored. 60 other women had also accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, but Constand’s allegations were the only ones to lead to criminal charges.

Cosby was sentenced that September to 3 to 10 years in state prison. The judge also ruled that Cosby must be designated a “sexually violent predator” for life. At age 81, the sentence was expected to be a life sentence for Cosby.

Here is a brief timeline of the key events in Cosby’s conviction and sentencing:

January 2005Andrea Constand reports assault to police
February 2005Montgomery County District Attorney declines to press charges after investigating claim
January 2006Cosby settles civil suit with Constand
July 2015Judge unseals Cosby’s deposition testimony regarding quaaludes and sexual encounters
December 2015First criminal charges filed days before statute of limitations deadline
June 2017Jury deadlocks in first criminal trial
April 2018Cosby found guilty at retrial
September 2018Cosby sentenced to 3-10 years in prison

Cosby’s Time in Prison So Far

Bill Cosby is currently serving his sentence at SCI Phoenix, a state prison near Philadelphia. He was originally housed at SCI Graterford but was moved to the newly opened SCI Phoenix facility in July 2021.

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Cosby was denied parole in May 2021 after refusing to participate in a therapy program for sexually violent predators. He will be eligible for parole again in September 2023.

While in prison, Cosby has carried out various jobs including janitorial work, tutoring other inmates, and leading anti-gang seminars.

In June 2022, Cosby was put in solitary confinement after a YouTube video surfaced that showed him speaking by phone from prison with a group of his supporters, including former lawyers and consultants. Prison officials said this violated their policy for inmates making public statements. Cosby was released back into the general population after about a month in solitary.

Overall, Cosby seems to be adapting as well as can be expected to life behind bars. But at age 85 currently, even a 3 year sentence could mean he will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Will Cosby Get Out of Prison Early?

Bill Cosby’s team has made several attempts to get his conviction overturned or to get him released early on bail while appealing the case. Here are some of the efforts and their outcomes:

  • April 2018 – Cosby’s lawyers filed motion for a new trial. Motion was denied.
  • June 2018 – A request to have Cosby released on bail while appealing his case was denied.
  • December 2018 – Lawyers filed appeal to have conviction overturned. Appeal claimed the trial judge had been biased.
  • June 2019 – Pennsylvania Superior Court rejected Cosby’s appeal and upheld his conviction.
  • June 2020 – Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to review Cosby’s appeal regarding whether prior bad act witnesses should have testified.
  • June 2021 – Conviction was overturned by Pennsylvania Supreme Court on a technicality regarding Cosby’s 2005 deposition testimony. Cosby was released from prison.
  • July 2021 – Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to review their decision to overturn conviction after Montgomery County prosecutors filed motion. Cosby was taken back into custody.
  • December 2021 – Pennsylvania Supreme Court reinstated Cosby’s conviction, ruling that he had waived Fifth Amendment rights in his civil deposition.
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Based on the repeated failures of his legal appeals so far, the chances of Bill Cosby getting out of prison early at this point seem very slim. Short of another appeal being successful or Cosby being granted parole in 2023, he likely will serve out the minimum 3 year sentence. For the man who was once one of America’s most beloved comedians and actors, the remainder of his life will likely be spent behind bars as punishment for his sex crimes.

Where exactly is Bill Cosby imprisoned right now?

Cosby is incarcerated at SCI Phoenix, a new state prison facility in Montgomery County near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was moved to this prison in July 2021.

What was Bill Cosby convicted of?

In April 2018, Cosby was found guilty of 3 counts of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand in 2004. The charges stemmed from him drugging and assaulting her at his home.

How long is Cosby’s prison sentence?

Cosby was sentenced to 3 to 10 years in prison. He will be eligible for parole in September 2023 after completing his minimum 3 year term.

Has Cosby been granted parole yet?

No, his first request for parole in May 2021 was rejected by the Pennsylvania Parole Board. He will be eligible again in September 2023.

Is Cosby likely to get out of prison early for good behavior?

Given his failed appeals and denial of parole so far, it’s unlikely Cosby will get released early. His best chance is being approved for parole in 2023 after serving 3 years.

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What conditions is Bill Cosby subject to in prison?

As a high-profile inmate, Cosby has been in restrictive housing and solitary confinement during parts of his sentence. But generally he has integrated into the general population.

Does Cosby have to register as a sex offender when released?

Yes. Part of Cosby’s sentence requires him to register as a sexually violent predator for life if he is ever released.

Who was the main accuser in the criminal case against Cosby?

Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee whom Cosby had mentored and then drugged and assaulted at his home in 2004.


In summary, Bill Cosby remains behind bars today, more than 4 years after being convicted of sexual assault and sentenced to 3-10 years in prison. Despite numerous appeals of his conviction, Cosby has been unsuccessful in overturning the guilty verdict returned by a Pennsylvania jury in 2018.

At age 85, Cosby is reaching an age where even his minimum 3 year sentence could amount to a life sentence. His best chance of release is possibly being granted parole in September 2023. However, after his failed prior parole bid and Cosby’s unwillingness to show remorse or complete mandated therapy programs, the chances still seem low.

For a man who was once so universally respected and influential in the entertainment industry, Bill Cosby’s legacy is now permanently tarnished. The former comedy legend will likely spend his remaining years paying the price for his past predatory behaviors against women. Unless Cosby’s conviction is somehow overturned in the future, his days as a free man seem to be over.

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Welcome to ‘Prison Inside,’ a blog dedicated to shedding light on the often hidden and misunderstood world within correctional facilities. Through firsthand accounts, personal narratives, and insightful reflections, we delve into the lives of those who find themselves behind bars, offering a unique perspective on the challenges, triumphs, and transformations that unfold within the confines of these walls.

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