Thursday, June 7, 2007

paris hilton sent home early

as i'm sure you've heard, paris has left the building.

ms. paris hilton was reassigned to home confinement, 3 days into a 23-day jail sentence. a few observations from a sociological criminologist:

1. yes, in my experience, this sort of thing is pretty unusual.

2. indeed, people are going to be very pissed about the whole equal-justice-is-a-sham aspects of this case.

3. i believe that the los angeles county sheriff's office must have anticipated the outrage that this move would spark. based on the remarks by sheriff baca's spokesperson steve whitmore, the office appears to be medicalizing and, hence, normalizing ms. hilton's treatment. they seem to be suggesting that sending inmates home for medical reasons is standard operating procedure in the l.a. county jail.

4. i'm not so cynical that i dismiss the possibility that ms. hilton was reassigned based on legitimate medical or humanitarian grounds, rather than (or in addition to) naked discrimination based on her race, gender, celebrity, or wealth. trust me, any young inmate's first couple days behind bars are rough. about half of all jail suicides occur during the inmate's first week in custody, with the highest suicide rate among inmates under the age of 18.

5. of course, thousands of poor and anonymous inmates, many with debilitating mental health problems, will also be struggling to survive this night in jail. and few of them will be sent home or reassigned to house arrest.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Paris Hilton should be given free access to all the young girls in prison. Make some new videos.