Lindsay Lohan

Malibu Joe/AKM-GSI

Can Lindsay Lohan's locked rehab facility really keep her from leaving while she's there? Is that legal?
—Carri K., via Twitter

Imagine that: Paying tens of thousands of dollars a month for the privilege of imprisonment. If you're hoping that Lohan will suffer in a Briarcliff-like institute with bars on the windows and beefy orderlies standing between her and freedom, you're gonna want to stop


When Lohan first reached a plea agreement related to her June car accident, we learned that the troubled actress would have to do 90 days in a "locked" rehab facility. We quickly learned that the stint will probably feel more like a hotel than a jail term, especially if Lohan chooses a Promises-like facility in Southern California.

"You can walk from your suite to pool and from the pool to omelette bar and back to your room" at such places, defense attorney David Diamond told me at the time.

The only way that Lohan could leave her "lockdown rehab"? The death of a family member or a medical emergency, Diamond told me.

But as Lohan's story has developed, I've learned even more details, particularly about how her facility might keep the squirrelly gal from sneaking out. And the answer is: Well, it won't.

"The ‘inpatient' facilities allow you to walk out, being that you are paying to stay there," Diamond explains to me. "Other places, if you leave, you get kicked out of the program."

True: Criminal law expert Troy Slaten tells my colleagues at E! News that Lohan's judge didn't literally mean that the actress would need to choose a place with guards at the doors and bars on the windows.  

"Locked down just means she doesn't leave," Slaten tells E! News. "That's it. It's not the kind of place that has armed guards and bars on the window that is called jail." In contrast, leaving the residential treatment program before the 90 days would be a violation that would likely send Lohan to prison.

If it seems that Lohan' sentence is getting softer by the second, Slaten has just one thing to add: Lohan could seek out ways to shorten her 90-day term, but it appears she isn't interested. "If she was one of my clients," Slaten explains, "I would recommend she take her 90 days in county jail, because, in Los Angeles, she would do such a short amount of time [because of overcrowding]. I think it is really just setting her up for failure."

If so, well, at least Lohan will be able to comfort herself at that omelette bar.

—Additional reporting by Claudia Rosenbaum

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