Even though Michael Cohen claimed in court that he’d been living in his own “personal and mental incarceration” while working for and admittedly lying for President Donald Trump, the three-year term he’ll serve might be completed a bit easier than some believe.
In federal court Wednesday, US District Judge William Pauley signed off on Cohen’s attorney’s recommendation that he serve his 36-year prison sentence at FCI Otisville located approximately 70 miles northwest of New York City.
FCI Otisville has been viewed as a suitable option for inmates convicted of white-collar crimes. In 2009, Forbes named it one of “America’s 10 cushiest prisons,” CNN reports.
Even though Judge Pauley lent support for the prison recommendation, the US Bureau of Prisons ultimately will decide where Cohen serves his sentence. CNN shared that the Designation and Sentence Computation Center in Texas tries to send inmates to prison within a 500-mile radius of their residence, which FCI Otisville happens to be for Cohen.
The medium-security correctional institution serves men and currently has 840 inmates. It features a bocce ball area, weight area and cardio equipment, horseshoes, handball court, tennis area, baseball field, running and walking areas, and a basketball court. On the menu at the prison store are items such as “rib steak, gefilte fish, kugel, salmon, chorizo and smoked oysters.”
Inmate Sholam Weiss is serving his sentence at FCI Otisville for racketeering, wire fraud, and money laundering in 1999. Kenneth Ira Starr, financial adviser to the stars, also served a sentence at FCI Otisville for defrauding his clients.
The New York Post described FCI Otisville as a “castle behind bars” in a 2013 article interviewing former inmate John Altman. On Memorial Day, inmates enjoy a holiday cookout with hamburgers, hot dogs, watermelon, and potato salad.
“You could do about anything you wanted there. It’s not just good. It’s sweet. That’s why you request to go there,” Altman said. “The food is right. The commissary is right. The officers don’t bother you. There are a lot of courses you can take. You had weights inside and outside, free weights and machines. Food, activities, TV and movies, and visitations are the four things you judge a facility by. Things were good.”
Michael J. Daily, the editorial page editor of the Connecticut Post, visited a friend there once and had a different viewpoint. He described the prison as a “grim, gray, spirit-draining place.”
“The walls, the concertina wire and the guard towers of what the inmates call ‘The Big House’ looming both literally and spiritually over ‘The Camp,’ the more relaxed version of prison for the non-violent types,” he wrote.