Bill Cosby is expected to spend the next three to 10 years of his life in a new Pennsylvania state prison while serving out his sentence for drugging and molesting a woman more than a decade ago.

The comedian, 81, was sentenced after his April conviction for having drugged and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand, a former Temple University women's basketball administrator, in 2004.

Cosby is expected to serve out his sentence at SCI Phoenix in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, although he will spend the first few days of his prison sentence at the Montgomery County Jail outside Philadelphia, according to a spokeswoman for the Montgomery County district attorney's office.

Bill Cosby is escorted out of the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. Photo / AP
Bill Cosby is escorted out of the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. Photo / AP

Cosby will then be taken to SCI Phoenix, where staff will assess his physical, medical and security needs. It's thought that he could end up in a long-term medical care unit at the prison, the Daily Mail reports.

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SCI Phoenix is a maximum security, 3,830-bed, handicap-accessible, state-of-the-art prison which began operating on July 9.

The US$400million prison is staffed by 1,200 full-time employees and features 66ha inside its double ring of razor wire fences and a 2.4km perimeter.

Among the prison's programme offerings are sex offender treatment, victim awareness and impact of crime classes.

A tour group entering block D in the west section of the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix in Collegeville. Photo / AP
A tour group entering block D in the west section of the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix in Collegeville. Photo / AP
A housing unit in the west section of the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix in Collegeville. Photo / AP
A housing unit in the west section of the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix in Collegeville. Photo / AP

However, the dark secret is if he's deemed at risk because of his celebrity or as a risk to others, he'd be held in solitary confinement, spending most of the day alone in his cell.

Otherwise, he'd likely share a two-person cell, leaving for meals, exercise, counselling and other activities. He'd be free to bring a personal tablet for music or games but wouldn't have internet access, corrections spokeswoman Amy Worden said.

The cells have bunk beds and storage lockers, as well as a stainless steel toilet and sink combo and a small desk and stool.

A cell is seen in a housing unit in the West section of the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix. Photo / AP
A cell is seen in a housing unit in the West section of the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix. Photo / AP
Inmate dining facilities are seen in the West section of the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix. Photo / AP
Inmate dining facilities are seen in the West section of the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix. Photo / AP

Unlike older prisons, SCI Phoenix's manual key locks have been replaced with electronic cell doors monitored from a central location.

While it's unclear what SCI Phoenix's long-term medical care facilities are like, other prisons LTC services, such as California Correctional Health Care Facility in Stockton, California, feature technology including cells with connectivity for medical equipment, emergency treatment and procedure rooms and a dialysis treatment centre, according to KPCC.

Immediately after his sentencing, Cosby was escorted from the courthouse and into a dark SUV before being taken to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility.

A housing unit in the West section of the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix. Photo / AP
A housing unit in the West section of the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix. Photo / AP
A control centre is seen in the West section of the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix. Photo / AP
A control centre is seen in the West section of the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix. Photo / AP

During sentencing, prosecutors had asked the judge to give Cosby five to 10 years in prison, after saying that he is lacks remorse and is capable of reoffending.

Cosby's legal team, however, argued that he should be sent home on house arrest because he is old, frail and legally blind.

The judge ultimately sentenced Cosby to three to 10 years in prison and ruled that he is a "sexually violent predator," meaning that he must undergo lifetime counselling and report quarterly to authorities.

Medical facilities are seen in the West section of the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix. Photo / AP
Medical facilities are seen in the West section of the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix. Photo / AP

Cosby's name will appear on a sex-offender registry sent to neighbours, schools and victims.

In addition, Cosby was fined US$25,000 and denied bail while appealing the sexual assault conviction.


- additional reporting AP