Family and Friends Newsletter-July 2019

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missouri department of corrections

Family and Friends Newsletter | July 2019

Career and Technical Training

Heavy Equipment class

The Department of Corrections Division of Offender Rehabilitative Services offers efficient and effective career and technical educational services inside correctional institutions. These programs form a bridge to a successful transition to society.

Thanks to grants from the Workforce Development Board and partnerships with state agencies, our vocational training options are constantly growing. We offer apprenticeships in wastewater management, heavy equipment operation, and horticulture and farming. We use simulators to give offender students hands-on experience within our institution classrooms.

We also help Missouri businesses find the skilled labor force they need in areas such as manufacturing, construction, auto mechanics, truck driving, heavy equipment operation, health care, food service and more. Employers recruit trained laborers pre-release through resource fairs and video interviews and after release through our reentry programs.

You can find a list of programs at

Assessment, Case Planning & Offender Accountability

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When it comes to changing the mindsets and behaviors of people involved in the criminal justice system, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. That’s why the Department of Corrections is changing the way we do business. In order to get the best results — to send people back out into the community better than they were when they came to us — we're tailoring our approach to the particular needs and strengths of each offender. The Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) will help us get there.

Right now JRI implementation focuses on three major areas:

  1. Assessment
  2. Case Planning
  3. Offender Accountability Procedures


Implementation of a new risk and needs assessment tool, the Ohio Risk Assessment System (ORAS), started June 1. This validated instrument helps identify factors that drive a person toward negative or criminal behaviors and also to determine each person’s risk of reoffending. The information collected can help ensure that we invest proportionate attention and appropriate resources in the moderate-risk and high-risk offenders who need them the most. The ORAS is being adopted department-wide to assess offenders, target interventions and determine responses to behavior.

Case Planning

The new case planning model started June 1. Based on ORAS assessment results, the case plan is a collaborative partnership between the offender/client and corrections staff — and may include treatment providers and family members when appropriate. Staff will be able to create case plans, and each case plan can be customized to capture goals, objectives, incentives and sanctions at all points of a client’s time with the department, both in facilities and in the community. Goals will be tied to criminogenic needs, and objectives should follow the SMART principle (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely).

Offender Accountability

The new offender rulebook for adult institutions went into effect May 1. For Probation & Parole, the Missouri Offender Management Matrix (MOMM) went into effect June 1. Both sets of tools are designed to provide a system of incentives and sanctions to reinforce positive behaviors while holding offenders/clients accountable for negative behaviors

Aspire MO

Aspire MO Grads

When the first ASPIRE MO participants leave prison, they intend to re-enter their communities equipped with the professional skills, solid business plans and confidence they need to become entrepreneurs.

Since December 2018, nine women have been fellow travelers on a 20-week journey to self-discovery and employability, from inside Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center. There, they have gathered each week to figure out how to turn their strengths, skills and passions into careers.

Launched in collaboration among MODOC Reentry Services, the Missouri Women's Business Center and the Missouri Women's Council, the ASPIRE MO entrepreneurship program is rooted in LaunchU, a nationally recognized intensive business training course developed at Southeast Missouri State University. Students complete assignments designed to help them learn not only how to start a business but also how to get and keep a good job.

Missouri women business owners and industry experts give guest lectures on topics such as business etiquette, résumé building and marketing strategies. Retired banker and Missouri First Lady Teresa Parson led a financial literacy session for the group and returned June 5 to deliver the commencement address at the graduation ceremony.

For each student, the coursework culminates in a finished business plan and a pitch delivered before graduation.

Resources for Families of Incarcerated Individuals

Group circle


There is no magic formula that enables someone to help their loved one stop—or cut back—on drinking, but Al‑Anon can help develop skills to cope with the challenges of someone else’s drinking. Al‑Anon meetings offer the opportunity to learn from the experiences of others who have faced similar problems. Al‑Anon members come to understand problem drinking as a family illness that affects everyone in the family. This insight puts them in a better position to play a positive role in the family’s future. Some research shows that when problem drinkers enter a recovery program, their chances for success are improved when they are supported by family members who are in a family recovery program such as Al‑Anon.

  • Al‑Anon is a mutual support group. Everyone at the meeting shares as an equal. No one is in a position to give advice or direction to anyone else. Everyone at the meeting has experienced a problem with someone else’s drinking.
  • You are free to ask questions or to talk about your situation. If you’d rather just listen, you can say “I pass”.
  • Meetings have the autonomy to be run as its members choose, within guidelines designed to promote Al‑Anon unity.
  • Al‑Anon is not a religious program. Even when the meeting is held in a religious center, the Al‑Anon group is not affiliated with any religious group.
  • Anonymity means that the people in the room will respect the confidentiality of what you say and won’t approach you outside the room in a way that compromises your privacy or the privacy of anyone who attended an Al‑Anon meeting.
  • Meetings will likely begin with a reading of the Twelve Steps of Al‑Anon. It will take some time to fully understand how the Twelve Steps can be a helpful tool in recovering from the effects of someone’s drinking, but Al‑Anon gives you the opportunity to grow at your own pace