Employee Newsletter | January 2019

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missouri department of corrections

Employee Newsletter   |   January 2019

State of the State Address

Governor Outlines Plans & Priorities for a Stronger Missouri


Governor Mike Parson will deliver his first State of the State address at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, in the Missouri House Chamber at the Missouri State Capitol.

Missourians can watch a live stream of the speech on his website or through Facebook Live on his Facebook page.

Missouri state government employees are encouraged to tune in, if schedules allow, to hear the governor's plans and vision for the state. A transcript will be available afterward.

Since he took office, Governor Parson has focused on strategic priorities including improving Missouri's infrastructure, developing the state's workforce and building better government.

Justice Reinvestment Initiative

If you work for the Missouri Department of Corrections, you probably have heard the term "justice reinvestment." But what exactly is it?

Essentially it's a way to give people the tools they need to stay out of prison. With the money saved by incarcerating fewer people, the state can reinvest funds in programs that help to reduce crime and recidivism.

In 2017, Missouri faced several criminal justice challenges, including rising violent crime rates and prison overcrowding. The bipartisan Missouri State Justice Reinvestment Task Force — which included state and local criminal justice system stakeholders — was formed to address the issues. The task force worked with the nonpartisan, nonprofit Council of State Governments to gather and analyze Missouri criminal justice data. The council came away with several key findings. In 2017, Missouri had:

  • The eighth-highest incarceration rate in the United States
  • The fastest-growing female prison population in the United States
  • An increasing violent crime rate but a decrease in violent crime arrests
  • Insufficient behavioral health resources
  • A high rate of prison admissions driven by factors other than new crimes; about half of new admissions were for technical violations of probation or parole

The task force worked with the Council of State Governments Justice Center staff to develop policies and strategies to reduce violent crime, improve community-based treatment, reduce recidivism and increase public safety. Many of these policies are reflected in House Bill 1355, which was signed into law in June 2018.

What this Means for the Department

  • Commitment to evidence-based practices in corrections will improve how we assess offenders, build better case management plans, respond to positive and negative behavior, and equip staff with better programming and tools to reduce risk — all of which will enhance the chances of offender success.
  • Offender success equals positive behavior in our facilities and reduced technical violations in the community. Improving lives not only makes communities safer but also saves correctional dollars.

So, where are we now, and where are we going? Here's a quick update:

JRI Roadmap

Treatment Pilot Program Launches in Three Counties

Treatment Pilot

In September 2018, the Justice Reinvestment Treatment Pilots (JRITP) in Boone, Buchanan and Butler counties began accepting referrals. This joint project between Probation & Parole (P&P) and the Department of Mental Health (DMH) provides substance use and co-occurring disorder treatment to high- and moderate-risk clients who face challenges remaining engaged in community treatment. Missourians in these counties are currently being treated by teams of providers. The pilot program:

  • Involves frequent case staff collaboration between supervising officers and providers
  • Allows payment for services to address barriers to treatment, such as housing, employment or other basic needs
  • Provides performance-driven payment incentives when outcomes in housing and employment stability, retention in treatment, and diversion from revocation are favorable.

Justice Program Assessment Planned

The Council of State Governments will complete a Justice Program Assessment (JPA) as part Phase II of Justice Reinvestment by December 2019. The assessment provides a comprehensive analysis of current programming in the Division of Adult Institutions to determine what should be retained and what should be replaced with evidence-based interventions better suited to Missouri’s needs.

Community Supervision Centers Adopt New Model

Community Supervision Center

Community supervision centers (CSCs) are transitioning to the “CSC Repurpose Model.” The four-phase model targets high-risk clients who need intensive programming in several areas and who are at risk of revocation. It focuses on incentives and sanctions as clients complete each of the four phases, with the referring Probation and Parole officer supervising the client while he or she is a CSC resident. 

Programs are targeted to each client’s assessed needs. Clients must complete core programming components before they can receive passes into the community for employment or other purposes.

In November 2018, the District 23 Community Supervision Center in Kennett transitioned to the repurpose model. District 12 (Farmington) and District 25 (Poplar Bluff) will transition in January 2019. Districts 1 (St. Joseph), 3 (Hannibal) and 26 (Fulton) will transition by February 2019. District 26 will be an all-female facility and will focus on gender-responsive and trauma-informed approaches to program delivery.

Department Gets Training in Carey Guides and Brief Intervention Tools

Carey Guides

In March 2019, Probation & Parole and Division of Adult Institutions (DAI) supervisors will attend case management and planning for managers and supervisors with the Carey Group. The Carey Group also will train staff to train the department in the use of Carey Guides and Brief Intervention Tools (BITS), which are guided intervention/skill practice worksheets staff can use with clients to address certain behaviors and case plan goals. These will be accessible online and embedded in the case planning web application. End user training on Carey Guides and BITS is expected to occur in July 2019. The Carey Group will provide additional training in case management and planning at selected DAI locations.

Cognitive Behavioral Intervention Pilot Programs Underway

Pilot programs for cognitive behavioral intervention (CBI) for substance abuse will be launched at Missouri Eastern Correctional Center and South Central Correctional Center. The curriculum Decision Points will be implemented at the community supervision centers, with the exception of the all-female District 26 center, which will adopt the program Moving On. The program Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) will be piloted at selected districts and adult institutions. The first phase of CBI program implementation is expected to be completed in August 2019.

Validated Risk Assessment Tool

Implementing evidence-based practices requires a valid risk and needs assessment tool, and the Missouri Department of Corrections now has one. The Ohio Risk Assessment System (ORAS) can be used at pretrial, on community supervision, at prison intake, prior to release, and in preparation for reentry. The automated system provides consistency and better data sharing while streamlining the case plan process.


The department began training in the Ohio Risk Assessment System (ORAS) in May 2018. Following an aggressive training schedule, 517 Probation & Parole (P&P), 125 Division of Adult Institutions (DAI) and 4 Central Office/Office of the Director (OD) staff have been trained and certified in the assessment tools. All P&P and DAI case management staff who will need to administer the tool are expected to complete training by the end of February 2019.

In January 2019, the department plans to complete testing of web-based tools integrated with ORAS. Certified users will be able to create assessments and case plans based on identified criminogenic domains. The automated case plan may be customized to capture the objectives, action steps, incentives and sanctions applied during varying points of a client’s time with the department, both in facilities and in the community.

The Case Management and Planning Team is developing recommendations for the supervision and case planning model. They also are working on a plan to pilot the ORAS at Western Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center and Maryville Treatment Center. These recommendations define the expectations for initial assessment and case planning, define levels of supervision, and determine the type and frequency of contacts.

The department will formalize the process for using incentives and sanctions in case planning. For P&P, the Missouri Offender Management Matrix will tie desired and undesired behaviors to the criminogenic domains of the ORAS and will point toward a selection of appropriate responses to these behaviors based on client risk. For DAI, the Incentive Guide will provide a consistent set of incentives that may be offered in prison. A finalized offender accountability procedure will be effective in May 2019. Train-the-trainer classes begin this month.

The Parole Board is in the process of adopting evidence-based parole guidelines through a technical assistance project with the National Institute of Corrections. The guidelines will incorporate the ORAS instrument. The tool helps the board evaluate release readiness over a selected set of additional domains.

December 2018 MODOC Employee of the Month


Paula Fick's organizational skills help keep the wheels of government turning smoothly. When the Missouri Attorney General’s Office requested files for a legal case, Fick, a policy and procedure coordinator at Jefferson City Correctional Center, orchestrated an efficient system for moving hundreds of files from housing units to administration offices while keeping all items organized and secure. The streamlined process helped to ensure that legal counsel had ample access to the information they needed while also safeguarding the files and facilitating their swift return. Her willingness to invest time, thought and careful planning in a task outside her normal job duties demonstrates Fick’s dedication and professionalism. 

A Heart for Service: Vocational Teacher III Mary Connell

Mary Connell

Mary Connell sets high standards for her students. As a vocational teacher leading the culinary arts program at Algoa Correctional Center, Connell encounters offenders who have had little or no outside work experience. She works them hard to help ensure that they not only learn the skills they need but also are prepared to get and keep a job in a fast-paced environment. "I want them to succeed," she says. Find out why she loves her job. Watch the video »

Missouri Department of Corrections in the News

Your great work is making headlines! Check out news media coverage of a trailblazing staff member, new vocational training programs and changes to community supervision centers.

Parole Officer Retires

Stopping Human Trafficking in Missouri

Human Trafficking

Human trafficking occurs when a trafficker uses force, fraud or coercion to control another person for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or soliciting labor or services against his/her will.

In 2018, Missouri approved House Bill 1246 to combat human trafficking. It requires posters raising awareness of resources for human trafficking victims to be displayed in many public buildings throughout the state.

The Missouri Department of Public Safety has made these posters available for download from their website


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.

Be a Better Listener


We're working hard to recruit and retain staff and to make our department a great place to work. Actively listening to coworkers helps create a better environment. 


  • Be attentive and focused.
  • Ask questions, and get clarification.
  • Demonstrate your understanding by summarizing and repeating back what has been said.