Sheriff Lee Baca, who placed hotel heiress Paris Hilton under house arrest, has defended his decision and said that the socialite was suffering from a 'life-threatening' psychiatric condition called decompensating.
'Decompensating' is a condition is the deterioration of one's mental state to the point of severe depression, nervousness or hallucination.
Baca also said that the Simple Life star's condition was even more complicated because doctors weren't sure of the appropriate treatment.
Baca faced severe criticism after he ordered Hilton to serve her sentence under house arrest and reports claimed that he had passed the ruling because Hilton's grandfather had contributed to his election campaign last year.
He also said that the 26-year-old did not receive any preferential treatment in the slammer, and that she was treated the same way as other inmates.
"Ms. Hilton was treated in the same manner as the other inmates," Us Weekly quoted him, as saying.
In a interview to TMZ, the sheriff said that there are lots of people who die in the prison because their health condition isn't identified.
"We've had plenty of people die in the county jail system, not because of anything we did, but because we didn't understand the medical problem," he said.