Sunburning of Paris: Arpaio says Hilton would serve entire term in Tent City if sentenced here
The Arizona Republic
Jun. 7, 2007 12:36 PM
To the surprise of pretty much no one, Paris Hilton has made an early exit from the big house in favor of her own big house. Her newest fashion accessory is an electronic monitoring anklet, having swapped an expected sentence of 23 days in jail for 40 days of home confinement.
It's a pretty nifty deal her attorneys finagled for her on account of an unspecified medical problem.
It wouldn't have happened here, said Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
"I think it's disgusting," Arpaio said. "I've got 10,000 people in the tents. They've all got medical conditions."
It's unclear what Hilton suffers from, but she's headed home. Could be cabin fever. A severe allergy to jail, perhaps? Whatever it is, she's done with jail. Arizona inmates likely wouldn't have that luxury, said J.W. Brown, a spokesperson for the Maricopa County Superior Court.
Brown said inmates have access to health care, whether they need treatment for physical or mental ailments.
"If you're sick, they can take you to the county hospital where there's a lockdown," Brown said. "If there's an emergency, they'll take you right to the hospital, and then take you back to jail. There's ways to get help and serve your time."
Brown said it's hard to say exactly what went on behind the scenes on the Hilton case because each state is different. Arpaio pointed to Robert Daniels, a man confined to a room at Maricopa County Medical Center, sick with tuberculosis, but not convicted of a crime.
Hilton was serving time for violating probation on an alcohol-related reckless driving case. She began serving her sentence on Sunday and was housed in the "special needs" unit of the Century Regional Detention Facility.
The unit is used for police officers, public officials, celebrities and other high-profile inmates. She bunked alone.
Hilton was sentenced to 45 days, but was expected to be released after 23 for good behavior.
"Now she's going home with some Mickey Mouse bracelet," Arpaio said. "That never would have happened here."
He said Hilton's time, had it been served in Arizona, would have been different.
If Hilton had served her sentence in Tent City, she would have stayed in the steamy tents with the rest of the inmates, Arpaio said.
Past Maricopa County high-profile inmates such as Glen Campbell, Mike Tyson and US Airways CEO Doug Parker served their time separated from the general population. But, Arpaio said, that was for their own protection.
He said he normally doesn't put celebrities in the tents, but Hilton would have been an exception.
She would have eaten bologna with the rest of them. And, she wouldn't have been released from jail early for house arrest.
"I am totally against bracelets. I think it's a cop-out," he said. "I'd love to stay in her mansion."
Hilton may not have to technically stay in her mansion for the entire time. Mike Goss, deputy chief with adult probation for Maricopa County Superior Court, said inmates released on electronic supervision need to stay within the perimeter of their house. If they don't, a signal is sent to a computer that tells probation officials the inmate is not following the rules.
Even if she's watched, Arpaio said he isn't happy with how Hilton is serving her time. He said it sends a bad message.
"I don't think this is right," he said. "I'm not going to blame anybody. I knew this was going to happen."