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Arment Dietrich

Rehab: The New Jail

By: Arment Dietrich | August 31, 2007 | 
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Everyday it seems as though a new celebrity, athlete, or musician has their publicist announce that they are entering rehabilitation.  While some are more well known than others, many question if justice is really being served.

Are rehab and a publicist the new excuse for serving time?  I agree that anyone, given the choice, would chose treatment over hard jail-time considering that programs offered can actually change the path that leads to destruction.  However, people are all too quick to run into a 28 day remedy to avoid the threat of actually serving time.

Many celebrities who own up to their mistakes are handed down lighter sentences of therapy, rather than incarceration, and gladly accept.  Winona Ryder, charged with grand theft and felony vandalism, had prescription pain killers on her at the time of arrest, the judge ordered her to undergo therapy and community service while also paying a fine.  While others, such as Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie are serving mere minutes in jail after running into rehab following the crimes they committed.   Is rehab a publicity stunt, or are people actually repenting for their crimes and getting the treatment needed?

Michael Vick claims he has to redeem himself and has found Jesus.  Just moments after he pleads guilty, he’s not running into psychotherapy, but his well spoken script states that he has already found God, just as quick. 

Do we all need a publicist to avoid consequences or is everything looked at on a case-by-case basis?  While I’d like to believe the latter — Marcus Dixon was sentenced to 10 years in prison for statutory rape of his girlfriend on a controversial sex crime, something that most people believe is cruel and unusual punishment.  But, he was never offered rehabilitation or therapy.   

Being in the public relations industry, I know that guidance in a crisis is crucial, but “for those in the public eye, rehabilitation isn’t a journey so much as a strategy.” — Courtney Lawrence

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