So Paris Hilton is back in jail.
I'll be blunt here: I have no sympathy.
Two reasons. First, she got busted for an alcohol-related violation in the first place. Drunk drivers kill more people than any other type of human killer, and the fact that that wasn't her first violation is just ridiculous. Second, she never would have gone anywhere near a jail if she hadn't violated probation in association with said alcohol-related violation.
I mean, you can only pile one violation on top of another for so long.
What this has to do with psychology: So part of the reason she got out is she supposedly had some "medical condition" -- a rash is what I heard -- and had a "mental breakdown."
Welcome to the slammer, folks. It's all normal for people going to jail for the first time. And a lot of those folks are going to be there for more than 23 days, and they don't have the option to go home and get a spray-on tan and visits from relatives when they get out after 3 (aka 5) days.
Yep, it's time to talk about the Zimbardo experiment again. (Visit the link for a quick overview of the experiment; Zimbardo also recently published The Lucifer Effect, a detailed accounting of the experiment with comparisons to Abu Girab and other similar atrocities.)
Several of the "prisoners" in the experiment had nervous breakdowns -- one within 36 hours. He had to be "released" from the experiment as a result. And this is after being "pretend" arrested and placed in a "fake" jail for 36 hours. In Quiet Rage, an academic video on the experiment, he can be heard falling apart as he starts to tell the researchers how bad he feels --"I'm all f---ed up, I'm all f---ed up inside"-- until he's simultaneously screaming and crying, "I want out! Let me out!"
Just like in a real prison, the stress of the situation made some of the prisoner's crack. Within 36 hours one of the prisoners had to be released after he exhibited signs of a nervous breakdown: He began uncontrollably crying, screaming, cursing, and acting irrationally. The stress of being in a prison environment caused a general deterioration of the prisoners into pathological behavior, and a prisoner a day had to be released after snapping. Although the men were "mock" prisoners in a "mock" prison, it was psychologically real to them, and that is how they responded. Yet while prisoners were psychologically collapsing from the SCP's effect on them, not a single guard quit or let up on their demeaning tactics. - www.prisonexp.org/legnews.htm
So Paris is no different from anyone else in this situation. A "breakdown" of some sort is almost expected, particulary for someone so spoiled. As for a rash -- I don't know what it really was, but hives come to mind. Hives are a common reaction to extremely stressful situations.
Woe and misery, Paris -- but you're sure not alone. The good ol' USA has the largest prison population in the world. In 2003, "prisons and jails held one out of every 142 U.S. residents."
And don't forget, in a lot of cases innocent people had to get hurt for all of those people to land there. Paris is lucky she isn't in Lane Garrison's shoes. Garrison drove drunk (and high on cocaine) and killed a teenager. He's looking at almost 7 years in jail. (Seven years isn't much when you think about the teenager who lost 50-80 years of life, not to mention to grief suffered by the family and friends who are left.)
Get over it, Paris.
And next time, do what the nice probation officer tells you to do.