It appears that the worst kept secret in Los Angeles legal circles is true. Lindsay Lohan headed back to court . As everyone who reads my blog knows, I have been a big supporter of Lohan and the alternative sentence she received in May. The sentence was a spilt of home confinement and substantial community service for two separate criminal legal issues. One, the violation of probation for her two D.U.I. arrests and the other for her NO CONTEST plea regarding the theft of a necklace. But, readers also know that as a legal coach I firmly believe that defendants who receive alternative sentences must take them seriously. Otherwise, judges will not hand them down and we are stuck with a criminal justice system that only incarcerates and does not rehabilitate.
Rehabilitation is a key necessity for our criminal justice system as over 95% of all people incarcerated in the United States will be coming home at some point. So, what can insiders like me do? First, we must educate people to the flaws and strengths of our system and the reality of what works. For example, defendants in the Federal system have much stricter accountability than those in the State system. Accountability is the only known deterrent. Next, we must urge judges to practice equal justice. That said, I believe that Lohan has not been treated better than others. But, now we will see for sure.
And, to answer the question of why some people keep going back we only need to look at the fact that people who do not learn from their arrests and mistakes will only repeat them in more serious ways. As a legal coach I work with people to accept responsibility and stop blaming others. Hence, my term INCARCERVENTION. Often this makes me very unpopular with my clients. But, after a while they usually see the light and the fact that without owning your own actions you cannot move forward. Lohan clearly needed an incarcervention when she was having rooftop parties while under house arrest. But, it looks like none of the people who profess to care about her offered one.
Now, it seems the original judge in his haste to send Lohan to jail, did not order drug and alcohol testing after February 25, 2011. And, the new judge who handed the alternative sentence down did not realize this. So, despite the wishes of the probation department, Lohan will not go to jail and will not have to submit to any further testing. Here is hoping that Lohan keeps learning and changing. Lindsay, yes, change is possible. Keep working at it.