This week Lindsay Lohan has a hearing to determine the sentence for her probation violation. Judge Stephanie Sautner has many options, but is also somewhat restricted by the California prison system overcrowding at this time. As an expert on probation, alternative sentences and prison preparation, I work with people on probation violations all of the time. Recently, there was the case of Redmond O’Neal and his probation violation for using drugs. LA Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz cited California’s notorious prison overcrowding problem as the reason he sent Redmond to a recovery centre instead of jail. This sentence, even after it was obvious that O’Neal belongs in a long-term mental health dual diagnosis program, not a Dr Drew program. Yet, he went to the Dr Drew type program. Yikes!
However, Lohan is a more public case and the issue at hand is not a drug violation. Judge Sautner needs to decide if the sentence will be strictly punitive or also rehabilitative. The current morgue community service is solely punitive. Sautner knows that if she sends Lohan to jail, Lohan will likely only serve a little time. So, creativity may be in order. What options exist?
Sautner may sentence Lohan to mental health treatment with a specific “lock down” program, jail time and mental health treatment or simply order a very restrictive probation that will again call for drug and alcohol testing. That is my bet as that may force Lohan to get the help she looks like she needs.
This is an odd case in that the probation Lohan was found to be in violation of was actually reported to be in good standing by the probation office! The DA is pushing for jail time. Both the DA and judge have found the Beverly Hills therapist cited in the report to have done a poor job, hence the judge can also order a new psychological evaluation.
The major problem here is that as a society when is enough, enough? What can we rely on our judges for and how can we make somebody like Lindsay Lohan “get it.” Surely she is in need of what I call an Incarcervention. That is an Intervention for somebody who constantly gets in criminal legal trouble. Lohan certainly does not have the two requirements that somebody coming back to society after a prison or probation term needs. These two components are: family support and community ties. In fact, Lohan has little support in the community, none in her Hollywood community and a poor family structure. How do we expect Lohan to learn when her own father Michael was arrested twice last week on violations of a court order?
But, we must remember that Lindsay is an adult and at some point she must take responsibility for her own actions. So, how does she do that? Simple really, have her acknowledge the consequences and GROW UP! Lindsay, change is possible but get help and stop acting like you are so entitled. Clearly you need to learn a lesson and if you escape jail again this time, what’s next time look like?