Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Requests To Serve His Sentence in ‘Jewish’ Prison In Otisville, NY

Michael Cohen, former personal lawyer to U.S. President Donald Trump, exits from federal court in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Mark Kauzlarich

When Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer, was sentenced last month to three years in federal prison on fraud charges, he had the right to request any number of prison camps favored by white-collar offenders for their relatively resort-like settings.

Cohen requested to be placed at the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, N.Y., which boasts a full-time Chasidic chaplain, daily minyanim and kosher vending machines in the visiting room. The prison commissary sells yarmulkes for $6 and offers a kosher selection that includes matzo, gefilte fish, rugelach and seltzer.

Otisville’s camp has long been the lockup of choice among Jewish white-collar offenders, including Sheldon Silver. Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin was also in Otisville but in the section relegated for people serving longer sentences. Bernie Madoff, who received 150 years for his Ponzi scheme, had his request for Otisville denied.

“For a Jewish person, there is no place like Otisville,” said Earl Seth David, 54, a former inmate who attended kosher meals, religious classes and weekly Shabbos services in the prison shul.

“As a Jew, there’s no other prison you can get services like that.”

Read more at The New York Times.




  1. lets get the facts (you can google) otisville prison & camp have approx 1000 inmates of which approx 4% are shomer shabbos yes there are currently about 30 in the camp and barely 10 in the prison . even that is too much, it is no picnic at all i have visited many times yes there are allowances for davening and shabbos meals but not much more than that..even the bits of kosher food visitors can buy at the vending machine must be finished there a simple thing like taking some cookies to your room is prohibited.

  2. this is earl seth david, the person who was interviewed by the NY Times. Prison is no joke. It is a dangerous place and I prayed everyday to God that I survive and go back to my family . Thank God I am now back home. System must change, it is too harsh against human beings.

  3. I did volunteer work at a Federal penitentiary many years ago. A Jewish guy wanted to get on the kosher food list because he was going into solitary and wanted better food. The rabbi asked him what he did to merit solitary, because it would reflect on him if it wasn’t valid.
    “I stole a pound of ham from the commissary.”
    Request denied.
    Cohen probably thinks it will be easier on him, and maybe closer to his family than other prisons.


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