This is the first in a series of posts detailing some of my life and work experiences that I will bring to the role of Washington State Attorney General. (Tip of the cap to Beth M. for the suggestion)
My first job in the criminal justice system was with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. As a correctional officer I worked in a Maximum/Medium male prison in Racine, WI.
I promoted to sergeant and began supervising inmates confined to their residences under electronic monitoring (“ankle bracelets”) in the Milwaukee, WI metro area when the program was in its infancy.
I worked alone and unarmed. When an inmate violated a condition of their release it was my responsibility to locate them, take them into custody, and return them to a brick and mortar facility.
In those situations the inmates knew what was in store for them and they also knew I was unarmed. There were a few hairy situations, but through those experiences I learned the value of verbal communication…I literally had to talk people into handcuffs. Those experiences, learning to talk to people in stressful situations, later served me well as a police officer and in everyday life.
I rounded out my corrections career at a maximum/medium female institution in Taycheedah, WI best known for an escape by infamous inmate Lawrencia “Bambi” Bembenek.
Fun fact: I spent my summers in high school working as a bat boy for the Madison Muskies, then a Class A affiliate of the Oakland A’s. I got to meet Jose Canseco, Luis Polonia, Terry Steinbach, and others before they made it to “The Show.”
To be continued…