Charlie Sheen's Aspen jail demands: Can't we all just get along?

Reports that Charlie Sheen's plea deal on domestic violence charges in Aspen is faltering because he won't be allowed to smoke while on work release have left some of us court-watchers flummoxed.

After all, Aspen is a celebrity-prone place. You'd think all that experience accommodating the special needs of hyper-extended egos would make it easy for local jailers to come up with a work-release plan even a busy TV star could live with.

The Pitkin County justice system has already bent the rules a bit for Mr. Sheen, as his entourage likes to call him. We're confident that a little extra consultation among attorneys, mediators, life coaches, nutritionists, celebrity advocates and personal trainers could result in a work-release deal memo that everybody involved will be thrilled to greenlight.

The conditions set forth in such a memo should, of course, reflect ample consideration of the individual circumstances of the defendant involved, the alleged victim's interest in a fair and just resolution, and favoritism toward none.

Something like this:

1. Upon arrival at the designated detention facility, Mr. Sheen agrees to forgo the usual red-carpet perp walk. He will make himself available for informal snapshots with jail personnel in exchange for nightly turn-down service.

2. Mr. Sheen agrees to wear standard-issue jail attire ("the orange suit"), provided it is laundered in pure rainwater and meets the thread-count standard set forth in the landmark civil rights case Martha Stewart v. USA.

3. Mr. Sheen will participate in one common meal a week with common inmates, preferably an egg-white omelet breakfast cooked sans trans fats, with Fuji water and fresh berries. At no time will Mr. Sheen be required to actually sit within twenty feet of any other inmate or respond to invitations, however friendly, to join in games of dominoes or "suck on this."

4. Any comestibles brought into the facility for Mr. Sheen will be prepared by a mutually approved caterer. No narcotics, alcoholic beverages or tobacco (whacky or otherwise) will be permitted in the facility unless Mr. Sheen already has prescriptions from a licensed physician -- preferably multiple prescriptions from multi-licensed healers -- for said substances.

5. While on work release Mr. Sheen will not threaten anyone with knives, guns or complicated yet boring stories about ex-spouse Denise Richards.

6. While on work release Mr. Sheen will respond at any and all times to the electronic paging device requiring him to report back to the jail, unless he is in the midst of script consultations for Two and a Half Men or awaiting a call back from the plumber he has hired to try to extract his career from the toilet.

7. Mr. Sheen does not do windows. For that matter, the personal assistant he has directed to perform his community service for him does not do windows, either.

8. Mr. Sheen will be allowed to seek venues of his own choosing for his off-grounds meals and carousing, provided they are not in Thailand.

9. In all other respects, Mr. Sheen will abide by the rules and regulations of the detention facility. If he fails to do so, he agrees to a scolding by a hairy check-forger, not to exceed thirty seconds, during his upcoming cameo appearance on MSNBC's Lockup: Extended Stay.

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Alan Prendergast has been writing for Westword for over thirty years. He teaches journalism at Colorado College; his stories about the justice system, historic crimes, high-security prisons and death by misadventure have won numerous awards and appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies.
Contact: Alan Prendergast