Josh Duggar finally released from prison's solitary confinement after nearly 2 months in 'hellish' conditions

JOSH Duggar has officially entered his prison’s general population after two months locked in the Specialty Housing Unit.

The embattled 19 Kids and Counting alum was sentenced to more than 12 years behind bars back in May 2022 after he was convicted of receiving and possessing child pornography a month earlier.

Josh Duggar has been release from solitary confinement after nearly two months


Josh Duggar has been release from solitary confinement after nearly two monthsCredit: AP
The star was sent there after he was caught with an illegal cell phone


The star was sent there after he was caught with an illegal cell phoneCredit: Brandon Bullette

The Ashley Reality Roundup broke the news and The U.S. Sun confirmed that Josh, 35, was released from the Specialty Housing Unit (SHU), more commonly referred to as solitary confinement, on Tuesday.

He was sent there weeks earlier after he was caught with an illegal cellphone earlier this year.

A former prisoner at FCI Seagoville, the prison where Josh is serving his time, told The Ashley: “Cellphones are hot commodities in [prison].

“Certain inmates get them and then basically rent them out to the other guys. If they’re caught and the phone gets taken away, the guy who rented it is responsible for paying the owner for it.”

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The insider added: “That would usually be around $1,800-$2,000. So it’s possible that Josh would need to figure out how to pay it back.”

Prior to his release to general population, Josh was spending his time in a 10×6-foot cell.

He was due to spend more time in the SHU but was released early due to overcrowding.

Sources told The Ashley Reality Roundup that Josh was “thrilled to be released.”

Although he has been released he has not regained his full privileges just yet.

Josh cannot have visitors for 180 days and will not have access to the phone.

The source noted: ‘That means Josh can’t talk to his wife [Anna] for 180 days.”

Additionally, he isn’t allowed to have any commissary for the same length of time.

Perhaps the most jarring repercussion to Josh’s illegal cellphone issue, however, is that his release date has been changed.

As previously reported by The U.S. Sun, the ex-TLC personality was originally due to be released in August 2032.

Now, his release date is listed as October 2032.

It appears that Josh is still holding onto hope he’ll be a free man soon though.

He remains in the process of appealing his 151-month sentence.


Josh apparently has good reason to be grateful to be out of the SHU.

On March 3, The U.S. Sun confirmed that the father of seven was still in solitary confinement.

An insider revealed that the living conditions were less-than-ideal, saying at the time: “I can tell you that the SHU there is so bad that the regional office was just down there to see what was going on. 

“They’ve been keeping prisoners in the SHU indefinitely, not letting them have DHO hearings, which let them know when they’re getting out.”

The source said that Josh could be there “for months” before his disciplinary hearing, though we now know that was not the case.

The insider continued: “Family members have been complaining that they’re unable to communicate with loved ones in the SHU. 

“The video and phone systems in the SHU have been down in recent weeks. Loved ones have been writing letters to inmates in the SHU.”

According to the Bureau of Federal Prisons, inmates in the SHU are allowed just “one telephone call per month.”

As for visitation, those are “restricted” or “disallowed” depending on the reason for detention. 

Seagoville declined to respond to The U.S. Sun’s request for comment on Josh.


Following his sentencing, Josh and his legal team have been hard at work on an appeal.

His lawyer, Justin Gelfand, and the prosecution’s Joshua Handell went head-to-head during an appeal hearing in Kansas City, Missouri on February 16.

The U.S. Sun exclusively reported Josh’s lawyer Gelfand argued that federal agents allegedly seized his phone when he tried to contact his attorney during a raid at his car lot a year and a half before his arrest.

The lawyer said in court: “[Josh] takes out his phone, physically puts it to his ear… for the purpose of contacting his legal counsel.

“Federal agents physically took the phone out of his hand and deprived him of the ability to communicate with his legal counsel.

“He was told he was free to go. No reasonable person in his shoes at that time would believe that.”

When the judge asked if Josh could have gone to another business to make a phone call, his attorney replied: “This lot was accessible only by a highway with no sidewalk, it was in the middle of nowhere. There was nowhere to go.”

The lawyer continued: “The vehicle he came in was searched, he had no access to it. The keys to the other vehicles in the car lot were in the office. He wouldn’t be allowed to enter without an escort.”

The prosecution responded: “Mr. Duggar was not in custody at any point during the search of the used car lot… Mr. Duggar was repeatedly told he was not in custody and was free to leave.

“He said his wife was pregnant and expecting soon. He may have to leave in order to contact her. The agent said that’s perfectly fine.

“Mr. Duggar did leave the scene at a time of his choosing and without being arrested… Mr. Duggar voluntarily ended the interview. He was not arrested until a year and a half later.”

The judge replied: “I am a little concerned though… The agent knew he was trying to call his counsel. It appears that might have been the only way he could’ve done so.

“It does concern me when someone makes an attempt to contact counsel… and is unable to call counsel because there is no alternative way to do it. I’ve never seen that before.”

The attorney for the prosecution responded: “It’s not clear whether there was another way to contact counsel. One of his employees had a cell phone not seized by officers.”

Josh’s legal counsel said: “The agent could’ve said, ‘Use my phone to contact your attorney.'”

During the same hearing, the TV personality’s lawyer brought up Josh’s employee Caleb Williams, whom he claims could’ve committed the crime.

The lawyer said: “Caleb Williams worked at Wholesale Motorcars, which is the scene of the alleged crime. He regularly used the only computer, the HP computer, for purposes that had nothing to do with Wholesale Motorcars or Josh Duggar.

“He texted Mr. Duggar on May 7, approximately a week before the alleged crime, offering to go watch the lot the following week. He took a photo of Mr. Duggar in the office where the alleged crime occurred. Showing Mr. Duggar used a Macbook, not the HP computer.”

Josh was arrested and charged with receiving and possessing child pornography in April 2021.

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His trial lasted two weeks before a guilty verdict came down from the jury.

He was sentenced in May and transferred to FCI Seagoville in June of that year.

Josh is serving more than 12 years in prison on child pornography-related charges


Josh is serving more than 12 years in prison on child pornography-related chargesCredit: AP
His phone access and visitation are restricted due to the cellphone issue


His phone access and visitation are restricted due to the cellphone issueCredit: Getty
Josh and his wife Anna Duggar share seven children


Josh and his wife Anna Duggar share seven childrenCredit: Instagram

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