The jail is basically "a holding facility" for people awaiting trial on federal criminal charges, Aidala said.
The clientele "really varies. You have a lot of people involved with drugs, who got arrested for drugs. You have a sprinkling of organized crime people" of different ethnicity, Aidala said. "You have a handful of white-collar guys."
Shkreli, who previously ran two pharmaceutical companies and several hedge funds, is one of those white-collar guys. A jury convicted him in August of three securities fraud charges.
Shkreli had expected to remain free for months, or even longer, pending his sentencing and his planned appeal. Brafman has said that a sentence that does not require prison time is possible in the case.
Gerald Lefcourt, a leading criminal defense lawyer, told CNBC on Wednesday that Shkreli could actually spend more time locked up due to his bond revocation than he would otherwise be for a prison sentence given the time it takes for an appeal of a federal conviction to be resolved.
Aidala said that even if Shkreli does get sentenced to prison, it will be to a facility that is more pleasant than the MDC.
"Everyone says the federal facilities are better than state prisons," Aidala said. "Sure, that's true — when you get sentenced."
But before then Shkreli has to bide his time for four months in the MDC, where Aidala himself has spent hours visiting clients.
"The Brooklyn House of Detention" — where people are jailed while awaiting state charges are kept — "is like a palace compared to the MDC," Aidala said.
NBC News noted that a 2016 report by the National Association of Women Judges said conditions in the female section of the MDC were "unconscionable," and that federal prosecutors in May charged three guards with sexually abusing female prisoners.
"There's not the most pleasant odor flowing around the whole building," Aidala said. "You're basically inside, surrounded with the florescent lights."
Meals at the facility are "heavy on the carbs," the lawyer said. When inmates come down for visiting hours "they beg their families to get food from the vending machines," Aidala said.
With little official recreation, and with access to fresh air limited to a rooftop area that inmates have some access to, "there's a lot of card playing," Aidala said.
He said that Shkreli faces much less risk of violence than he would if he was being held at Rikers Island, the sprawling New York City jail complex that holds people charged with state crimes.
The MDC is "more of ... an unpleasant place than it is a dangerous place," he said.
"It's the dehumanization" that is particularly bad, Aidala said. "You're being told where to go, when to do, how you can do anything, from brushing your teeth to sleeping."
"No independence and freedom," the lawyer said.