Staff Newsletter | May 2019

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missouri department of corrections

Employee Newsletter   |   May 2019

Our Distinguished Colleagues

Governor Recognizes Three Corrections Heroes

Governor Mike Parson presents Awards of Distinction to three Missouri Department of Corrections staff members Monday, May 13, during a ceremony at the Governor's Mansion.

Michelle Vogel PSRW

Corrections Officer I Michelle Vogel is being honored for heroism. While off duty, Vogel entered a burning building and rescued a 4-year-old child. She previously received both the Governor's Medal of Valor and the Director's Medal of Valor. Watch her public service week video clip »

Robert Dunn

Recreation Officer I Robert Dunn is being honored for heroism. He provided lifesaving assistance to victims of an automobile accident. Dunn previously received the Director's Medal of Valor. Watch his public service week video clip »

Kim Mills

Probation & Parole Officer II Kim Mills is being honored for innovation. Mills developed and launched the voluntary Parole Re-Entry Skills Building Program in Henry County to get Missourians into counseling within 48 hours of release from prison. Participation reduced parole violations from 83% to 18%.

Pay Plan Passes!!!

The Missouri State General Assembly has approved a state operating budget that includes the largest pay raise for corrections staff in Missouri Department of Corrections history. Developed by the department, championed by Governor Mike Parson and now approved by the state legislature, the plan calls for a 3 percent salary increase for all state workers, plus an additional and ongoing 1 percent increase for every two years of service, up to 20 years, for all non-executive corrections staff. The budget includes funding to ensure that the calculation of the 1 percent retention raise applies to all years of previous MODOC experience — further boosting pay for the 1,461 current employees who previously left the department and then returned.

The pay increase, which goes into effect in January 2020, will raise the salaries for corrections employees by at least 3 percent and as much as 13 percent. While the cost-of-living component is expected to help recruit new staff, the additional increase for corrections is designed to help retain current staff, reward experience and ensure safety. The longer you work with MODOC, the more you earn.

The pay plan is funded in part by the consolidation of Crossroads Correctional Center with Western Missouri Correctional Center. The consolidation will save the state approximately $21 million per year. No staff layoffs and no new offender releases are included in the plan.

Mental Health Innovations

May is National Mental Health Month. In the Missouri Department of Corrections, we're expanding our programs, practices and mindsets to address the role mental health plays among Missourians involved in the criminal justice system as well as the staff who work to improve their lives and protect our communities.

Crisis Intervention Team Training Changes Corrections Culture

Scott O'Kelley CIT

The first Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training in the Department of Corrections was launched in 2014 at Jefferson City Correctional Center, equipping 25 staff members with the skills they need to recognize mental health issues, verbally de-escalate tense situations and prevent major crises. Administrators immediately saw a 50% decrease in uses of force.

The program has since become an integral part of corrections culture, transforming how staff and offenders think about behavioral health. In 2016, MODOC CIT won the the Governor’s Award for Quality and Productivity. In 2018, our three training centers expanded the intensive CIT training sessions. Now the department annually trains 300 staff members, who use their CIT de-escalation skills not only on the job but also in the community and in personal relationships. Scott O'Kelley, assistant division director for Mental Health Services, says the guiding principle is simple: "It's just people talking to people." He explains the purpose, training options and benefits of CIT in this video »

Suicide Prevention Videos Get National Attention

Suicide Prevention Video

In 2016, when staff met with offender media team Jefftown Productions, the goal was simple: to educate the offender population about the facts and myths surrounding suicide in the hope of preventing incarcerated Missourians from taking their own lives. Guided by Mental Health Contract Monitor Page Nichols and Institutional Activity Coordinator Dan Krachey, offenders in Jefferson City and Vandalia created the "Suicide is Forever" project, two videos — one for men and one for women — debunking misconceptions about suicide and alerting offenders to warning signs.

Suicide Prevention Men

The videos make a major impact. Some offenders candidly share the profound effect that a peer's suicide has had on them. Others talk about their own struggles with suicidal thoughts. Both videos describe suicide warning signs and offer advice on how to help.

Recently the videos were picked up by the Federal Bureau of Prisons National Suicide Prevention Program in Washington, D.C., for national distribution. Since they were first released, the videos have been used for prevention and training in prison and jail systems in at least 18 states, as well as in college and university psychology and criminal justice programs.

Missouri Veterans Project Recognized by State Representative


Missouri State Representative Dave Griffith of District 60 plans to honor the Missouri Department of Corrections with a resolution celebrating the Missouri Veterans Project in Missouri prisons. The program began as a mental health initiative wherein offenders who have served in the United States military were treated together for post-traumatic stress and other mental health issues. Now the project provides special dorms and a platoon-like system for veterans at Moberly, Boonville, Algoa and Potosi correctional centers. Watch the St. Louis ARCHS video about the Moberly veterans program »

Specialty Units Connect Offenders with Vital Services

In the United States, people with mental illness are significantly over-represented in jails and prisons — at about 17%, compared to 5-7% of the general population. The Missouri Department of Corrections has a mental health caseload of more than 9,000 people (or 30%), 18% of whom have been diagnosed with severe mental illness. To help ensure proper offender treatment and facility safety, the department operates five types of specialty housing units, which currently house about 200 offenders. 

The medium-security Social Rehabilitation Unit (SRU) at Farmington Correctional Center and Women's Social Rehabilitation Unit (WSRU) at Chillicothe Correctional Center house offenders affected by chronic psychological problems, poor coping skills, psychotic symptoms, an inability to understand or follow rules, and/or difficulties with psychotropic medication. The Secure Social Rehabilitation Unit (SSRU) at Jefferson City Correctional Center houses maximum-security offenders who have similar psychiatric issues, as well as violent or disruptive behaviors. Staffed by Department of Mental Health personnel, the Corrections Treatment Center (CTC) at Farmington provides inpatient psychiatric care to offenders with significant mental illness who require segregation from the general population. The Special Needs Unit (SNU) at Potosi Correctional Center houses offenders who have developmental and intellectual disabilities resulting in frequent victimization and/or an inability to adjust to incarceration. 

Staff working in these units operate with exceptional patience and compassion.

April 2019 MODOC Employee of the Month

Carver, Parson

Charles Carver, a Corrections Officer II at Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center, was named the Missouri Department of Corrections employee of the month for April 2019.

When faced with an emergency, Carver always rises to the occasion. He goes out of his way to report for duty every time the Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT) is activated — even at the end of a long shift, even while on leave, and even when the activations last several hours. His dedication not only supports fellow officers but also saves lives.

During a CERT activation at Potosi Correctional Center, Carver responded to a staff stabbing incident and, while on site, also discovered an offender suicide attempt. As the first responder, he lifted the offender, who had tried to hang himself, and supported his weight while other staff arrived on the scene to assist. His swift action saved the offender’s life.

Public Service Recognition Week

PSRW Collage

During Public Service Recognition Week, May 5-11, Department of Corrections employees joined fellow state government employees in sharing their stories of service and their reasons for giving back to the people of Missouri. Thank you for all you do. We're proud to be part of your team.

Southeast Correctional Center Feeds the World

Food Packing

On the heels of a fundraiser that brought in $11,000 for supplies, Southeast Correctional Center held a meal-packing event to support the organization Feed My Starving Children. In one day, offenders, staff and community volunteers packed 163,000 meals — enough to feed 447 low-resource children in developing countries for a year. 

With gardening season underway, SECC is ready to feed more Missourians too. Last year, the facility's Restorative Justice Garden yielded 11,683 pounds of fresh produce for donation to the SEMO Food Bank, which supplies groceries to food-insecure Missourians throughout the southeastern part of the state.

Bigger, Better Job Fairs: Setup for Success

Algoa Resource Fair

Last month staff at Algoa Correctional Center put on their biggest resource fair yet. Dozens of Missourians nearing release from prison packed the Algoa gym to meet with reps from 42 employers, educational institutions, social service agencies and community organizations ready to connect eager, skilled workers with the businesses that need them. Participating employers included companies such as Cargill, Scholastic, Witte Bros., ABB, Spartan Light Metal Products, DeLongs Inc., Doolittle Trailers and MODOT.

Ozark Job Trainig

Meanwhile, staff at Ozark Correctional Center wrapped up the latest three-month APPLIE course, in which they prepare offenders nearing release for education, apprenticeships and on-the-job-training opportunities. Following résumé, job-search and life-skills workshops, staff organized a job fair, during which employers interviewed offenders and even made job offers.

second chance job fair

Probation & Parole volunteers connected justice-involved Missourians with employers during the Second Chance Job Fair at Chaifetz Arena on the Saint Louis University campus. More than 1,000 Missourians with prior felony convictions signed up to meet with 75 employers willing to give them a second chance.  

Ken Chapman Honored for Workforce Development

Ken Chapman

A surprised Ken Chapman was honored at this year's Missouri Association for Workforce Development (MAWD) conference. Chapman leads the department's Reentry Unit, which has been hard at work preparing offenders for employment after incarceration. Recent developments include new employability readiness and entrepreneurship courses as well as partnerships with more than 260 Missouri employers willing to consider hiring job-seekers with felony convictions. In recognition of these successes, MAWD presented Chapman with the Partner Collaboration Award.

Free Staff Development Program Offers 7,000 Courses

MO Learning Town Hall

As part of our partnership with LinkedIn, the State of Missouri has launched MO Learning, a world-class online training platform available through LinkedIn Learning.

MO Learning offers a catalog of more than 7,000 online courses for all types of jobs, organized into dozens of learning paths. These courses are free to state employees.

All Missouri Department of Corrections staff have access to MO Learning courses. You can log in using your Missouri state employee ID and password. If you have a LinkedIn account, you can link it to your learning track after logging in.

The first MO Learning Town Hall was held at Central Office April 25. More town halls will be held statewide. Meanwhile, log in and start exploring at

Staff Blood Donors Earn Awards & Rewards

blood drive award

The staff at Western Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center and St. Joseph Community Supervision Center team up to make a big impact during blood drives. Recently the Community Blood Center recognized the group as a Top Organization of 2018.

All state employees have the chance to make a difference during the current Red Cross blood drive. If you give blood between May 1 and June 10, you can earn a $5 Amazon gift card. Better yet, you might save a life.

Check the Red Cross blood drive map for a donation location near you.

Offender Accountability & Offender Rulebook Changes

In support of our strategic mission of improving lives for safer communities, the department has revised the offender rulebook and related procedures and created the IS19-l.6 offender accountability procedure. The new procedure and related materials became effective May 1, 2019.

This change:

  • Expands and further defines offender rules
  • Modifies corrective sanctions and allows informal sanctions at the interviewing stage
  • Provides positive-behavior incentives
  • Shifts from a disciplinary approach to recognizing offenders for both positive and negative behaviors

A frequently-asked-questions document is available on the DOC Intranet under Policy & Procedure. 

The new offender rulebook has been distributed, added to offender tablets and uploaded to the department's website.

Thank you for your continued service and willingness to implement a culture of corrective action, which furthers our reentry efforts and helps create a safer working environment.

Quarterly Pulse Survey

Pulse Survey

More than half of all corrections staff participated in the all-state-government quarterly pulse survey in March, demonstrating a commitment to improving the department.

State government workers completed an organizational health index survey in 2017, followed by Pulse surveys in December 2018 and March 2019. 

In corrections, things are improving. The number of MODOC staff who say they feel a sense of personal pride and ownership has doubled since 2017. More staff say their supervisors are recognizing their good work, and we've seen a 12% increase in staff who say they feel inspired by supervisors and leaders. 

View the statewide, all-agency survey results summary.

The next Pulse survey will be available in the second half of June. Please participate! Your feedback informs administrative decisions.

Building Better Leaders

Julie Division Leaders

Department of Corrections division directors and deputy division directors took part in the state's first Division Leaders Summit, facilitated by Missouri Leadership Academy faculty. Participants engaged in networking and brainstorming activities designed to take their leadership to the next level. For corrections cameos, remarks from Governor Parson and highlights from the day, watch this video »

Staff and Offenders Help Stave Off Floodwaters


Flooding persists throughout the Midwest as river levels rise, and Governor Mike Parson declared a state of emergency in Missouri. MODOC is lending a hand in areas hard-hit by flooding. Staff and offenders from Women's Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center have volunteered time to sandbag in Clarksville, and their counterparts at Northeast Correctional Center have filled 8,000 sandbags for the cause. To help people affected by flooding, contact your local Red Cross.

Missouri Department of Corrections in the News

Your great work is making headlines! Check out news media coverage of staff accomplishments in workforce development, restorative justice and honoring the victims of crime.

May News

Crime Victims Rights Week

Giving Back

Education & Workforce Development



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.

Help Build Trust on Your Team


We're working hard to retain staff and to make the Missouri Department of Corrections a great place to work. An essential part being effective in our day-to-day work is cultivating trust among teammates.


  • Be honest and supportive with coworkers.
  • Respect privacy and confidentiality.
  • Communicate openly and directly.
  • Ask for help, and offer help.