Greetings loyal readers! In honor of Throwback Thursday (which is every Thursday if you are hip to the social media thing) I'm going to tell you a story of the much younger prison librarian me.......
The best advice I ever got was from my first Programs Captain: "People are going to get stuff over on you. They just are. The key is calling them out when you catch it." This advice really resonated with me because when I first came to prison it really bothered me that people would steal things and I wouldn't catch them doing it, like the day someone stole one of our pencils which had been attached to a long piece of string on a clipboard.
The next time that happened (and it happened again not long after the first time) I was lucky enough to catch it before the group that was in the library left. At first I was shocked at their audacity to steal a pencil right in front of me but then I had an idea...
I flicked the lights in the library and made an announcement: "Ladies! It seems my pencil has disappeared. I know one of you has it so I am going to go to my office and when I come back, it had better be returned, otherwise I will call yard staff and have everyone stripped out*." I proceeded to go to my office and turn my back on the library and by the time I made my way back to the circ desk- lo and behold- there was the missing pencil.
The moral of this story is twofold: first that sometimes they will pull a fast one and you won't catch it but sometimes you will, and second that many people probably had much worse contraband on their persons so nobody was going to get stripped out over a pencil.
Until next time!
*The term "stripped out" refers to the strip search aka the bend, squat, cough search that leaves no stone unturned if you will and is generally successful on finding contraband hidden in even the most intimate of places.