"I am trying to be strong right now," Paris said of her jail time set to begin Tuesday. "I'm really scared but I'm ready to face my sentence."
Hilton was ordered to serve approximately three-week sentence for violating her probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case.
"I did have a choice to go to a pay jail," said Hilton, without giving details. "But I declined because I feel like the media portrays me in a way that I'm not and that's why I wanted to go to county, to show that I can do it and I'm going to be treated like everyone else. I'm going to do the time, I'm going to do it the right way."
Hilton said her family, friends and fans have helped her prepare for her time behind bars.
"I've received thousands of letters from around the world of support and it's really been inspirational and really helped me," she said. "I'm really scared but I'm ready to do this. And I hope that I'm an example to other young people."
Hilton said the jail sentence had forced her to reflect, though she did not offer many details.
"Even these past couple weeks, it's completely changed my life," she said. "Even though it's a scary thing I'm using it in a positive way and when I come out, I can't wait to start my new life and be even stronger than I am now."
Though the sentence was set to begin Tuesday, Hilton could show up anytime before that. She did not tell reporters when that may be.
Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said a statement would be issued after the hotel heiress was incarcerated.
A call to Hilton's attorney, Howard Weitzman, was not immediately returned Sunday. Her publicist, Elliot Mintz, was reached by e-mail and declined comment.
At the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, the prospect of Hilton's arrival was on the minds of some at the 2,200-bed facility.
Susannah Johnson, who was released Saturday after a one-day stay at the jail, said many inmates were angry at Hilton, believing officials were making room for the starlet at the expense of others in crowded conditions.
"The only advice I could give her when she comes is to shut her mouth and do the time," said Johnson, 35.
Though a judge sentenced her to 45 days behind bars, Hilton is expected to serve only 23 days because of a state law that requires shorter sentences for good behavior.
Once she arrives, the "Simple Life" star will be housed in the jail's "special needs" unit.