It seems that a day doesn’t go by without a celebrity arrest or even worse a death from drugs and alcohol. So, why are celebrities arrested at a higher rate for DUI than the rest of us? Simple- grandiosity and entitlement. These are two criminal thinking errors and usually a daily part of a celebrity’s life. There is also the problem of a lack of reality and the “yes” people who often surround the celebs. Think CONRAD MURAY.
Another question is why do these celebs that have money actually take the risk and drive themselves? Again simple, they feel they are invincible at best and on drug runs at worse. Further, even the rehab programs that many of these celebs go to are so star struck that they do not treat the patient correctly. This is sad but very true. One has to ask what the true motives are when “treating” a celebrity of high profile person. I work with many in my consulting practice and sad to say but lawyers, PR people and agents all have different motives and agendas.
Often judges do not understand how to handle these cases either. Judges may feel that jail is a deterrent for drug addiction and that court mandated AA is enough. This is laughable. Anybody who has ever been an addict or known one understands that once can’t reason with somebody in the midst of their addiction and jail is certainly NOT the answer nor a deterrent. I encourage judges to hand down serious therapy, formal probation AND Community service. As anybody who reads my work knows, I believe community service helps people find their passion, gives them self worth all while serving society.
This week already we have seen yet another Amanda Bynes issues even while her criminal cases are pending, the arrest of Olympian Shaun White, the arrest of Michael Turner and Sally Struthers. And we wonder why our Incarceration Nation is broken?
We must get serious and know when treatment is needed and how best to make it work. That means empowering the person, not shaming them while making them accountable for their actions. There are consequences and that is something that everybody has, even Hollywood celebs.
To begin to change our system and save lives we must first understand why it is broken and break down what is really going on. I for one am sick and tired of lawyers who only think about “getting their client off” and not how to live the rest of their lives. Clients are not notches on a belt but people who need long term help.
Remember, change is possible but it takes work AND understanding. Let’s start now and educate rather than judge.
Wendy Feldman is a criminal justice expert, insider and family legal coach. She is available for private consultation on how to prepare for a successful incarceration, probation and re-entry. She is also available for media commentary and has appeared on shows from Today, CBS Early Show, Fox News and Nancy Grace. She is a weekly featured guest in the syndicated America Now radio program. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.