Special Treatment for the 'King of Pop'?

This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," June 6, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

JOHN GIBSON, HOST: Apparently, in the Jackson camp, nobody has faced up to the possibility that Michael Jackson (search) might go to prison. If he is convicted here, he would go to prison. Would he get any special treatment? How would life for Michael Jackson be behind bars?

Joining me now is James Esten. He is a correctional consultant who worked for the California Department of Corrections.

JAMES ESTEN, CORRECTIONAL CONSULTANT: John, that's an outstanding question. If convicted, Michael Jackson will go to state prison. The rules and regulations of the California Department of Corrections require that, one, he be housed in an institution appropriate for his needs, and, two, that society be protected from any further misbehavior or felonious behavior by him.

GIBSON: Yes. But what does that mean, appropriate for his condition? I mean, he would contend — and I know the Department of Corrections would not buy it — but he would contend, the only thing appropriate for his condition is Neverland Ranch. He is not going to adjust very well to a nine-by-nine cell and a stainless steel toilet.

ESTEN: A nine-by-six cell, John.

GIBSON: All right, nine-by-six.

ESTEN: And a stainless steel toilet. And he will be housed in a state prison.

My view of the case and his circumstances would place him at the California state prison at Corcoran. There is a protective housing unit there where an individual of Michael Jackson's needs and uniqueness could be safely housed from the other 163,000 inmates within the California Department of Corrections.

GIBSON: Mr. Esten, he has made three trips to the hospital — well, two, this weekend. What are the chances that he will just end up in permanent housing in a prison hospital?

ESTEN: Those chances are good. But the prison at Corcoran where the protective housing unit is has a certified and validated state prison hospital on the grounds. So he can be treated there as part of his housing in that protective housing unit.

GIBSON: James Esten, a consultant who has worked with the California Department of Corrections. Mr. Esten, thanks a lot. We really appreciate it.

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