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Paris Hilton back in women's jail

  People in the News  -   POSTED: 2007/06/14 12:32

Paris Hilton was transferred back to an all-women's jail because her condition was declared stable after nearly a week in a medical ward, a sheriff's official said Thursday. She was brought late Wednesday to the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, and placed in the medical clinic there. If all goes well, she will return to the jail's special needs unit and be released June 25, spokesman Steve Whitmore said at a news conference.
Hilton, 26, began her 45-day sentence June 3 at Lynwood, where she was confined to a solitary cell in the special needs unit away from the other 2,200 inmates. She only lasted three days and was sprung by Sheriff Lee Baca for an unspecified medical condition that he later said was psychological.

Baca's decision to allow her to finish her time in the luxury of her Hollywood Hills home with electronic monitoring caused a firestorm of criticism over whether the celebrity was getting special treatment and ended with Hilton back behind bars.

Judge Michael T. Sauer, who specified at her sentencing last month that she not serve time at home or with the use of electronic monitoring, sent her back to jail last Friday saying he had not condoned her release.

Hilton left the courtroom in tears calling for her mother and shouting, "It's not right!"

She was taken to the downtown Twin Towers jail, which houses men and the county jail's medical treatment center, where she underwent medical and psychiatric exams to determine where she should be confined.

Hilton's stay there cost taxpayers $1,109.78 a day, more than 10 times the cost of housing inmates in the general population.

Attorneys who have handled similar cases have said her early release was neither special nor unusual. The Los Angeles County jail system is so overcrowded that thousands of prisoners have been released early, many serving only 10 percent of their sentences for nonviolent crimes.

Baca said he made his decision after learning from one of her doctors that she was not taking a certain medication while in custody, and that her "inexplicable deterioration" puzzled county psychiatrists.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has launched an investigation into whether the multimillionaire received special treatment because of her wealth and fame. The Rev. Al Sharpton met with Baca on Monday and said Hilton's situation exemplified an unfair legal system.

At least one person has filed a claim against the county alleging she "had serious medical issues" but was treated much worse than Hilton.

Hilton's path to jail began Sept. 7, when she failed a sobriety test after police saw her weaving down a street in her Mercedes-Benz. She pleaded no contest to reckless driving and was sentenced to probation for three years.

In the months that followed she was stopped twice by officers who discovered her driving on a suspended license. The second stop landed her in Sauer's courtroom, where he sentenced her to jail.


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