When I started working in a library in a maximum-security prison about 11 years ago, I quickly picked up on the fact that having a sense of humor goes a long way when dealing with convicted felons.
It was a typical day. The library was busy with activity. I stepped away from my desk for a few minutes to answer the telephone. Upon returning to my desk, I noticed that a couple of my pens were missing. I blurted out so everyone could hear “Who stole the pens off my desk?”
Immediately the room grew very quiet. A young man came up and stood by my desk. He said, “Jeannie, I’m not a thief, I’m a murderer.” I replied, “Thank you for sharing that information with me!” The whole room exploded with laughter and the two pens were soon returned.