WA Secretary of State Blogs

Case of the stolen pens!!!

Jeannie Remillard

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.

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2 Responses to “Case of the stolen pens!!!”

  1. Once, at WSR, two inmates were looking for music on our OPACs. One said to the other, “Do you know John Lee Hooker?” to which his buddy replied, “I know my wife is a hooker.”

  2. Judy Pitchford Says:

    When I was at WCC an inmate suddenly started yelling “Who took my magazines? I’m gonna kill somebody!” over and over. I tried talking to him to resolve the problem but he wouldn’t stop saying “I’m gonna kill somebody!”. Running out of things to say to him I suddenly blurted “We don’t kill people in the library! You can go back to your unit.” (I still can’t believe I said that) As he was being escorted out of the library, he yelled over his shoulder, “I’m really not a violent person!”.