Employee Newsletter | December 2018

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missouri department of corrections

Employee Newsletter   |   December 2018

Championing Public Safety

State forum garners widespread support for justice reform

State Forum on Public Safety

The Missouri Department of Corrections is leading the way in statewide efforts to fundamentally transform how the criminal justice system functions in Missouri.  

The Justice Reinvestment Initiative and House Bill 1355 have yielded projects and programs that boost corrections employee safety, treat Missourians in need of behavioral health services and reduce overcrowding in prisons and jails. 

State Forum - sheriffs

With those initiatives underway, we partnered with the Departments of Public Safety, Mental Health and Social Services for a daylong State Forum on Public Safety. Held Dec. 7 at State Technical College of Missouri in Linn, the forum brought together sheriffs and state troopers; mental health experts and social service providers; researchers and lawmakers; and corrections professionals from throughout the department.   

State Forum - Governor

Speakers included Gov. Mike Parson and Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe; state agency directors Mark Stringer, Sandy Karsten, Rob Dixon and Anne Precythe; and panelists from all areas of law enforcement and public safety throughout the state. In his remarks, Gov. Parson, a former sheriff, said he aims to avoid building new prisons, to reduce the crime rate, and to get former offenders into the workforce. "We've got to figure out: How do we take people who are incarcerated, and how do we put them on the right path when they're released?" he said.

State Forum News Coverage

18 Things MODOC Did in 2018

2018 Collage

The Missouri Department of Corrections had a busy year. We launched new agency partnerships and education programs. We fed fellow Missourians and held charity fundraisers. We made huge strides in improving our workplaces and reinvigorating our staff. We also began implementing our vision for a stronger department. Look back on the year with this review of just a few things we accomplished »

November 2018 MODOC Employee of the Month


Alex Earls is determined to help keep offenders from returning to prison. Earls, a Case Manager II at Algoa Correctional Center, starts readying Missourians for successful reentry the moment they join his caseload in the transitional housing unit. He presents each with a welcome packet that includes: a letter outlining expectations; a questionnaire assessing needs; a worksheet to guide résumé creation; and a Transitional Accountability Plan worksheet. The packet keeps offenders focused on their goals and lays the groundwork for success, inside and outside the facility. 

Recently Earls assisted participants in the Connections to Success pilot program, supporting them as they addressed all areas of returning to the community, from transforming their self-image to mastering a job interview to becoming a better dad. His work supports the department’s strategic goals to reduce recidivism and improve lives. He’s a role model and an inspiration for the Department of Corrections community.


Holiday Hounds

Abram the dog

Want a puppy for Christmas? All of the Missouri shelter dogs featured in this Puppies for Parole Facebook holiday video are well-trained, lovingly socialized and available for adoption. Take a look »

Since the program's 2010 inception, 5,500 Puppies for Parole dogs have been adopted by Missouri families, veterans and organizations and sometimes staff (it's an occupational hazard). The program gives Missouri families happy pets, gives offenders life skills and job skills, and gives shelter dogs the forever homes they deserve.

Officer Santa

Shop with a Cop

Like Yulaunda Farmer and Theresa Proffer from Southeast Correctional Center (pictured here in the Sandard-Democrat), corrections officers throughout the state are teaming up with colleagues in the Missouri State Highway Patrol, local law enforcement and other public safety agencies to give Missouri kids happier holidays. In the Shop With a Cop and Shop With a Hero programs, officers take kids shopping for holiday gifts, funded by donations to local law enforcement foundations — and often supplemented by officers' own money when kids go over budget. (Those little faces are hard to say no to.)

MODOC Angels


Department employees gave kids an Angel Tree Christmas this year, with donations of gifts for the children of incarcerated Missourians. Working with Prison Fellowship, the department collected wish lists from kids, and staff bought and wrapped gifts for distribution through local churches. Next year, Angel Tree will go department-wide, helping kids throughout Missouri.  

Working with other local organizations, this year generous department employees in facilities and districts throughout the state "adopted" low-resource families for the holidays, buying them essential items as well as Christmas gifts.

A More Transparent 2019

Staff Assault & Major Incident Reporting Processes Planned

Many employees have asked to be informed when a coworker is seriously assaulted in the line of duty. We can make that happen. In the past, it has not been the department’s practice to release reports to the public, but we know it's important for all of us to stay informed. The department has to safeguard the privacy of employees and protect their medical and personnel information, so notifications will not include employees’ names but will include assault facts.

So, how will this work? Staff members were asked whether they want incident information, when they want it and how they want it. Based on those responses, currently we are working on a plan to post a department-wide weekly assault and serious incident advisory on our public website, doc.mo.gov. We also are developing a process for sending out more immediate messages to staff employed at a location where an assault has occurred.

While it’s important for everyone at a worksite to know about an incident as soon as possible, site administrators need time to gather accurate information and verify reports. Once they have it, they will send it out.

Keeping staff informed is a high priority, and we hope to have a process in place very soon.

Tablet Update


Staff in all institutions have worked hard on conquering logistical and technical obstacles as we roll out our new tablet incentive program. Provided by JPay at no cost to the department or taxpayers, computer tablets have been distributed to offenders in all facilities, and most are set up and in use.

These incentive-based tablets promote staff safety. They are designed to give staff a tool for managing offender behavior while helping to reduce violence. Tablets are available in correctional facilities throughout the United States and have been shown to reduce staff assaults by 60 percent, offender-on-offender assaults by 40 percent and suicides by 100 percent. 

The second phase of applications is being tested. Once available, the incentive program can be implemented. Offenders with three or fewer conduct violations in six months will be permitted to access additional features. Have questions? Review the FAQ, or talk to your supervisor.

Missouri Department of Corrections in the News

Your great work is making headlines! Check out news media coverage of reentry programs, Shop with a Cop, Justice Reinvestment Initiative and more.

JRI Pilot


Improving Lives for Safer Communities


Excellence in Corrections for a Safer Missouri


We value safe work environments, a capable workforce and reduced risk and recidivism.
We value integrity and respect.
We value supportive leadership.
We value employee participation and teamwork.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T in M-O-D-O-C


We're working hard to recruit and retain staff and to make  our department a great place to work. Demonstrating respect for coworkers builds a positive work environment. 


  • Encourage coworkers to share ideas, and then listen.
  • Don't engage in insults or name-calling.
  • Be mindful and accepting of cultural differences.