Will Lindsay Lohan get the Paris Hilton treatment at L.A. jail?
The celebrity factor could end up cutting both ways for Lindsay Lohan as she prepares to serve a 90-day sentence at the Los Angeles County jail in Lynwood.
Just ask Paris Hilton, who was sentenced to the same jail in 2007. Hilton served only five days of a 45-day sentence before being released. But public outcry prompted a judge to send her back to jail for a total of 23 days. The Times found that she spent significantly more time behind bars than other women sent to jail for the same violations.
Stan Goldman, a Loyola law professor, said Lohan’s celebrity status clearly helped get her many second chances not given to other offenders in the court system. Goldman said she dodged probation violations for several years as her attorney managed to keep her out of jail despite her probation being extended for failing to complete alcohol education classes in a timely manner.
But now that she faces jail, that celebrity may work against her. "The sheriffs may be tougher on her than most females in the jails,” Goldman said.
Sheriff’s officials say that during her stay she will, like Hilton, be isolated from the general population for her own safety and that that usually is the case with well-known people.
In the wake of Hilton’s incarceration, the union representing Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies complained that she had free access to a cordless phone while other prisoners must wait in line to use pay phones during set hours.
Hilton also received daily visits from top brass at the Lynwood
facility -- including a captain who hand-delivered her mail.
Letters are usually delivered by inmate trusties, they said. And officials were allegedly ordered to give her a new jail uniform while many inmates use recycled ones.
In December 2007, the Office of Independent Review issued a report
that said even though releasing Hilton to home detention was
“extraordinary,” Sheriff Lee Baca had not violated policy in ordering her to be
The review also noted that Hilton’s release was not out of the ordinary because most female misdemeanor offenders serve only four days of their sentences.
A Beverly Hills judge earlier this month sentenced Lohan to jail, saying she had repeatedly lied to authorities and failed to attend weekly alcohol education classes that the court required when she plead guilty to a drunk driving charge in 2007.
Over the weekend, Lohan stayed in the Pickford Lofts, a sober living facility founded by her new attorney, Robert Shapiro, who lost his son to drugs and alcohol. Shapiro would not get into specifics about what he expects to happen Tuesday but in a statement indicated he will ensure that she complies with the judge’s directions:
“I have agreed to represent Ms. Lohan on the condition she comply with the terms of probation, including a requirement of jail, imposed by Judge Marsha Revel. Ms. Lohan is suffering from a disease that I am all too familiar with. Hopefully, I can be of assistance to Ms. Lohan and Judge Revel in implementing a treatment approach recommended by medical professionals for Ms. Lohan's long-term recovery and sobriety.”
-- Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein
Photo: Paris Hilton outside of court in 2007. Allen J. Schaben / L.A. Times