After a brief stay at Rikers Island, Harvey Weinstein is now headed to what his lawyers hope will be his final incarceration spot: Fishkill Correctional Facility in Beacon, N.Y., about 60 miles north of Manhattan.
For a movie mogul who's used to knocking around palatial mansions — like his 9,000-square-foot waterfront Connecticut "country house," his seven-bedroom estate in the Hamptons with a state-of-the-art 3D screen, or his $14.5 million townhouse in the West Village — Fishkill is the antithesis of high society. But it could certainly be worse: This medium-security prison is nestled between the scenic Hudson River and the Fishkill Mountains, houses about 1,800 men, and maintains hospital facilities for ailing inmates like Weinstein, who showed up to court either in a wheelchair or with a walker.
There will be activities to keep boredom at bay. If Weinstein is up for earning a little extra cash, the facility allows inmates to work in metal furniture manufacturing and a metal shop. There are horticulture and painting classes, instruction on how to work on small engines, and lessons in dog training. Should Weinstein feel the need to give back to the community, he could qualify to work with at-risk juveniles "attempting to divert their lives from a pattern of dangerous life choices," according to the facility's website.
Though Fishkill is meant to process prisoners before they go off to long-term facilities, Weinstein's condition could keep him there. After a New York City jury found the former Hollywood mogul guilty of committing a criminal sex act in the first degree and rape in the third degree, he spent time at Bellevue Hospital over concerns of high blood pressure and heart palpitations. He was sentenced to 23 years in prison.
"That is the first place he will go to be received into the system," Weinstein's spokeswoman Judy Engelmayer told The Hollywood Reporter. "We would hope he can stay there."
Fishkill, like many of the nation's old prisons, has a past. For 80 years, it was known as Matteawan State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, where male and female patients underwent "moral treatment" by exercising outside daily and enjoying breaks of tea and smoking. By 1949, electric and insulin shock treatments became the norm, and three lobotomies were reportedly performed there. Courts began restricting the imprisonment of the mentally ill in the '60s, so Matteawan changed its mission several times (and shrunk in size) before becoming what it is today in the late '70s.
The facility is not without controversy. In 2015, an African-American inmate named Samuel Harrell with a history of bipolar disorder was reportedly kicked and punched by as many as 20 corrections officers and then thrown down a staircase. An ambulance was called, but according to medical records, officers said Harrell overdosed on synthetic marijuana. He later died at the hospital.
Two years earlier, the building where Harrell was allegedly beaten was singled out in a report by the Correctional Association of New York for “harassment and provocation.”