Paris Hilton: I Won't Fight My Sentence
updated 06/09/2007 AT 05:00 PM EDT
•originally published 06/09/2007 AT 03:00 PM EDT
"Being in jail is by far the hardest thing I have ever done," she said. "During the past several days, I have had a lot of time to think and I believe that I am learning and growing from this experience."
She said she has spent time reading her fan mail and that "I very much appreciate all of their good wishes and hope they will keep their letters coming."
"Thank you as well to my family who has always stood by me," she continued. "I love you and miss you so much!"
Hilton concluded by saying she was "shocked" at the attention her case has received by the media and public officials.
"I would hope going forward that the public and the media will focus on more important things like the men and women serving our country in Iraq and other places around the world," she said.
The heiress issued the statement after she spent her first night alone in a room in a locked-down medical ward after suffering in jail.
Hilton wailed, “It’s not right!” as she was taken out of court Friday, though a family friend says she wasn’t protesting her sentence.
“She was taken by surprise when she was restrained from hugging her mom and dad,” the friend tells PEOPLE. “That’s all she wanted to do – give them a hug. She was startled and spontaneously yelled. Wouldn’t most people? But she was not protesting. Just surprised and frightened.”
Hilton then was sent to the Twin Towers Correctional Facility's Correctional Treatment Center in the adjacent medical building.
Hilton, 26, was placed in a 120-square-foot room by herself with guards at the door at all times.
"Her cell has a bed, toilet, sink, and a sliver of a window," says sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore.
The four-story center has nearly 200 beds in rooms that look more like hospital rooms than cells, he says.
"The goal at the CTC is to stabilize inmates, so they can be released into the regular (jail) system," Whitmore says. "She is getting no special treatment. It's a facility focused on medical needs. It treats both medical and psychiatric conditions. ... She's going to be there indefinitely."
Hilton hasn't eaten or slept since arriving, and was visited Saturday morning by her psychiatrist, reports TMZ.com.
A former inmate tells PEOPLE, "You can't sleep in there. All night and day people are screaming and crying."
Hilton was released from Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, Calif., early Thursday and reassigned to home detention after serving just three days of her minimum 23-day sentence.
On Friday, Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer ordered Hilton back to jail to serve the reminder of her term for violating probation for driving repeatedly with a suspended license.
Sheriff Lee Baca, whose department runs the jails, said she was reassigned for medical reasons. He didn't disclose the nature of them but said her "medical condition had been deteriorating."
Reporting by KEN LEE, MAUREEN HARRINGTON, MARY MARGARET and JED DREBEN