Though she was initially sentenced to 90 days in jail for probation violations, troubled actress Lindsay Lohan could be released from lockup within the week, after serving less than one-fifth of her original term.
That's pretty typical, according to Fox News legal analyst Kimberly Guilfoyle, who told MTV News that chronic overcrowding in the Los Angeles County jail system has turned it into a "revolving door" for high-profile, low-level offenders like Lohan, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie.
"When you have a celebrity like Lindsay Lohan, it's a huge problem for the correctional officers," she said. "They don't want that. They're getting a lot of press and focus on their detention facility. It gets all the other inmates up in arms, their panties in a bunch, it's not a good situation."
That's why, she said, in addition to the overcrowding argument, jail officials in L.A. County often cite celebrity inmates — even President Obama knows about Lohan's incarceration — as a "security risk." The facility often has to go on lockdown whenever Lohan is moved around or is let out of her cell for meetings with her lawyer and family. "Because of that, they're going to want to get her out as soon as possible without giving the impression that she's receiving special treatment," Guilfoyle said.
The key for jail officials is to process high-profile inmates quickly and avoid the appearance of special treatment, while making sure that they serve enough time to make the judges in the case satisfied that the message has gotten through to them.
"Keep in mind, Lindsay had a 90-day jail sentence," she said, noting that the average person with that sentence in Los Angeles would be expected to do at least 22 or 23 days. "But for Lindsay, now they're saying two weeks total, so definitely she'd be getting it better than the rest."
At press time, Lohan's lawyer could not be reached for comment on when the "Mean Girls" actress might be released from jail.