Paris Hilton transferred from medical ward to women's jail

Paris Hilton has been transferred from a medical ward at a Los Angeles County jail and returned to the all-women's facility where she began her sentence for a probation violation more than a week ago, a sheriff's official said Thursday.

A judge sent Hilton, 26, to the downtown correctional treatment center last week after her brief release to home confinement caused an uproar. The heiress had spent just three days behind bars before sheriff's officials moved for an undisclosed medical condition.

Around 11 p.m. Wednesday, Hilton was returned to the Century Regional Detention Center in Lynwood, the women's prison where she had started out, Lt. Daryl Meeks told The Associated Press.

Meeks would not elaborate where in that facility Hilton was housed. When she began her 45-day sentence on June 3, she was confined to a solitary cell in a special needs unit away from the other 2,200 inmates.

He also would not say why she was moved. At the treatment center, she was to undergo medical and psychiatric exams to determine where she should be held.

The Sheriff's Department called a news conference for Thursday morning.

Hilton's case has caused a firestorm of criticism over whether the celebrity was getting special treatment.

When Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer sentenced Hilton last month, he ruled she would not be allowed any work release, furloughs or use of an alternative jail or electronic monitoring in lieu of jail.

The judge gave no explanation Friday of his ruling to send her back to jail. But his comments throughout the hearing showed he was affronted by Sheriff Lee Baca's decision to set aside his instructions and release the heiress to do her time in the luxury of her Hollywood Hills home.

Hilton left the courtroom in tears and shouting "It's not right!"

Attorneys who have handled similar cases have said her treatment was neither special or unusual. The Los Angeles County jail system is so overcrowded that thousands of prisoners have been released early, many serving only 10 percent of their sentences for non-violent crimes.

In Hilton's case, though, the sheriff's decision was based on a medical condition.

Baca said he had learned from one of her doctors that she was not taking a certain medication while in custody, and that her "inexplicable deterioration" puzzled county psychiatrists.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has launched an investigation into whether the multimillionaire received special treatment because of her wealth and fame.

The Rev. Al Sharpton also has reacted, saying Hilton's situation exemplified an unfair legal system.

And at least one person has filed a claim against the county alleging she "had serious medical issues" but was treated much worse than Hilton.

Hilton's path to jail began Sept. 7, when she failed a sobriety test after police saw her weaving down a street in her Mercedes-Benz. She pleaded no contest to reckless driving and was sentenced to 36 months' probation.

In the months that followed she was stopped twice by officers who discovered her driving on a suspended license. The second stop landed her in Sauer's courtroom, where he sentenced her to jail.