Josh Duggar's Life Since Going To Prison

The rise and fall of the Duggar family has captivated millions. The "19 Kids and Counting" stars once attracted a huge TLC audience wanting to learn about their secretive religion, strict rules, unshakable dress code, and surprising confessions — and then their world came crashing down around them. Viewers eventually learned that not all was as it seemed, as the double life of many members was exposed and scandal tore their family apart. The major turning point came when Josh Duggar admitted to sexually abusing girls as a teenager, including his own sisters, Jill and Jessa Duggar. His family stood by him as he apologized, which stirred up major controversy and hate. Eventually, Josh's demons caught up with him — and his family — in a big way when he was found guilty on child pornography charges in 2021 and was sentenced to over 12 years behind bars.

That's where he is now, serving out his 151-month sentence with minimal contact with the outside world. But while he may be one of the most controversial and disliked men in America, many still can't help but wonder what life is like for the disgraced television personality. Here's a complete look inside Josh Duggar's life in prison.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Josh Duggar's day-to-day life behind bars

While Josh Duggar awaited sentencing following his December 2021 guilty verdict on child pornography charges, he was temporarily placed in Washington County Jail in Arkansas. In May 2022, he was sentenced to 151 months behind bars and in June, he was moved to FCI Seagoville outside of Dallas, Texas. Judge Timothy Brooks said it was the right fit because it offered a "good sex offender program," per InTouch.

Once there, Duggar joined 1,736 inmates and was assigned to an available bed in either a dormitory or a smaller room that contained storage, beds, a folding chair, and a laundry bag, per InTouch. As the outlet learned, he would have been given sheets, a blanket, pillow, and towels, as well as five shirts and pants, five sets of underwear and socks, one pair of shoes, and a belt. All of which he would have needed to tag with his name and inmate number.

InTouch also discovered that Duggar would have to follow a series of strict rules. For one, beds have to be made "in a tight military style," windows and furniture must be cleaned daily, and all inmates need to wear clean, wrinkle-free clothes. They're reportedly given three meals a day, plus a coffee break, with breakfast served at 6:30 am and dinner at 4:00 pm. As for lights out, the daily curfew is 11 pm, except on Fridays and Saturdays when inmates can stay up until 1:30 am.

He was seriously reprimanded over a contraband cell phone

Josh Duggar discovered first-hand what happens when you break the rules at FCI Seagoville in February 2023 when he was placed in its Special Housing Unit (SHU) — better known as solitary confinement — for using a contraband cell phone. As The U.S. Sun learned, that meant his visitation rights would be restricted or completely forbidden and he'd only get one phone call a month. A family member of a fellow inmate told the outlet that Duggar would likely stay there for months and alleged, "The SHU there is so bad that the regional office was just down there to see what was going on." Interestingly, while in solitary confinement, the disgraced reality star also had his prison sentence extended by over six weeks. However, as Daily Mail noted, it was unclear if that was a direct punishment for the phone.

As for how he got the device in the first place, an inmate's family member told blogger Katie Joy of Without a Crystal Ball that guards sell phones to inmates for between $2,200 and $2,500. Duggar apparently couldn't afford that much, so he rented it from someone and used it to call his wife, Anna Duggar. The source added that Josh told Anna it was illegal and to keep the information secret, which she did — before his plan backfired anyway.

Josh Duggar's prison is notoriously violent and unsanitary

FCI Seagoville may be a minimum security prison, but it's become notorious for having some of the worst conditions in the country. In 2020,  roughly 75% of the inmates contracted COVID-19, per CNN, making it the hardest-hit federal prison in the U.S. Several inmates also filed lawsuits against the facility in 2022, alleging violence and mistreatment. 

As The U.S. Sun reported, one plaintiff alleged he didn't receive his prescribed medication for 31 days while in solitary confinement. Meanwhile, another said he was assaulted and told staff he feared for his life, but they simply left him in the general population where he continued to be threatened. Such a violent environment would be particularly dangerous for Josh Duggar because, as Beverly Hills attorney Adam Michael Sacks told The U.S. Sun, "If it gets around he's in for child pornography, he's marked — they will hurt him. It's not a joke."

In addition to the alleged violence, a family member of one prisoner told The U.S. Sun in 2023 that the facility is rundown and unsanitary. They claimed that hot water and electricity are often cut off, that there are plumbing issues and rats, and that there's major overcrowding with 12 men sharing four-person cells. "It's small, it's dirty," they said. "There's mold all up in the mattresses." What's more, they added that food portions are too small and often expired. "They had a run of cereal that had bugs in it," they told the outlet.

Is anyone visiting Josh Duggar in jail?

While Josh Duggar comes to terms with his new reality, he has kept a small piece of his old life thanks to regular visits from Anna Duggar and their kids. Despite the five-and-a-half-hour drive she has to make from Arkansas, she's been a regular fixture at FCI Seagoville. Initially, as COVID-19 protocols remained in place, Josh was only allowed to be visited by two adults or an adult and a child over five, so he couldn't see his whole family at once. What's more, Radar learned they couldn't hug and would have to communicate through a Plexiglass barrier. However, as of January 2023, things had changed. "Partners are allowed to have a kiss and a hug at the beginning and the end of visitation," a source told The U.S. Sun. Indeed, Distractify confirmed that while Josh wouldn't be getting any conjugal visits, the prison did now allow "handshakes, hugs, and kisses (in good taste)" at the start and end of visitation.

The number of visitors was also upped to five and because their children are so young, Anna is allowed to come with all seven kids, per Without a Crystal Ball. They're only allowed two monthly two-hour visits, but a source shared even that may be too much. The insider, who has the same visitation day as the Duggars, said the couple isn't talking, that the older kids ignore their dad, and that Anna seems stressed and unhappy and refuses to hug or kiss her husband.

Did an elitist attitude get him fired from his prison job?

Life behind bars doesn't just include rehabilitation and daily chores, it also includes work. As InTouch learned, all healthy inmates at FCI Seagoville are given cleaning responsibilities, as well as a job that's chosen for them by the Inmate Work Assignment Committee. In Josh Duggar's case, he was placed in the education department as a tutor, but he only lasted for two weeks, according to OK!. As it turns out, his attitude likely played a major role in his getting fired. "Josh seems to piss many people off as he thinks he knows it all," a source told the mag in October 2022. "I am sure it had to do with his arrogant attitude and clashing with other inmates."

In March 2023, blogger Katie Joy, host of Without a Crystal Ball, shared a similar story after speaking to an insider who has a loved one serving time at FCI Seagoville. They told Joy that Duggar thinks he's better than everyone around him and shared that he was likely fired from his prison job because of his elitist attitude, and his lies about how smart he is. According to the source, education tutors work in the prison's library and must have a college degree. Apparently, Duggar lied about his education to get the gig but was suddenly fired after a few months, likely when the truth came out.

How incarceration is impacting Josh Duggar's marriage

It may seem unlikely that Anna Duggar would ever divorce Josh Duggar but, according to numerous sources, his incarceration is taking a real toll on her. "She took her wedding vows seriously and she wants to stand by her man and all that, but the reality of her situation is very difficult," an insider told InTouch in 2023, noting that Anna has been praying for guidance. "Divorce is not something she wants, but she'd be lying if she said she hasn't questioned her future with Josh." 

Indeed, a source told InTouch that their relationship has been changed forever. "In her heart, all she has left is her children and her faith," they shared, adding that she wishes she could simply move on. "Anna wants nothing more than to check out and forget everything about this nightmare that Josh has brought upon her and her children," another insider told InTouch.

Their potential future together isn't being helped by the fact that Anna distanced herself from Josh's family after several members spoke out against him, including Jinger Duggar Vuolo and Jill Duggar Dillard. "She needed unconditional support," a source told InTouch, noting that Anna felt betrayed by their actions. Jump to June 2023 and things only became more strained when Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar reportedly kicked Anna and her seven kids off their property, per The U.S. Sun.

Josh Duggar's time behind bars keeps getting longer

Josh Duggar's life changed forever on May 25, 2022 when he was officially sentenced to 151 months in prison, or almost 12 and a half years. However, as InTouch reported, his release date was initially set for August 12, 2032, which meant he'd serve just over 10 years behind bars. Although it wasn't made clear why his sentence was slightly shortened, the time he spent in an Arkansas facility following his guilty verdict may have played a role. Whatever the reasoning, Duggar's sentence was eventually extended by almost two months in March 2023 while he was in solitary confinement for illegally possessing a cell phone. As Fox News reported, his release date was pushed to August 22, 2032, then to October 2, 2032. It was then extended for a third time to October 10, 2033, per InTouch.

The reality star has tried and failed to appeal his conviction numerous times. In August 2023, his third appeal, in which his lawyers called for a new trial, was denied by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, per InTouch. Duggar has a long road ahead of him and he won't be fully free once he leaves jail. As The U.S. Sun notes, the terms of his sentence dictate that he'll be supervised by a parole officer for 20 years following his release.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

The VictimConnect Hotline by phone at 1-855-4-VICTIM or by chat for more information or assistance in locating services to help. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.