HOTHEAD Heather Locklear is cooling her heels in a mental health facility for 30 days to avoid prison time for assaulting cops and a paramedic during her multiple meltdowns last year!

“She really had no other choice. The judge told her that it was either a treatment facility or jail!” spills an insider.

“She chose the psych ward, as opposed to the cold hard cell of prison. The thought of prison gives her anxiety.”

Locklear has been the subject of many headlines this past year, get the latest one in this week's GLOBE Magazine.