Staff Newsletter | August 2019

View as a webpage

missouri department of corrections

Employee Newsletter   |  August 2019

Everyday Superheroes

Six corrections heroes earn Director's Award of Valor

Award of Valor - audience

Corrections staff perform heroic acts on and off the clock. In a July 10 ceremony, Director Anne Precythe recognized six exceptional staff with the Director's Award of Valor for saving fellow Missourians from a major disturbance, a hostage taker and an oncoming truck. Watch the video » Read the story »

Lloyd McCurdy

Women’s Eastern Reception & Diagnostic Center, Vandalia


Lloyd McCurdy, who works the midnight shift, was leaving the Vandalia women’s prison in his truck just before 7 a.m. when he spotted a toddler, clad in only a diaper, running in the direction of Highway 54. Arriving on the scene as the boy was stepping out onto the highway in the path of an oncoming semitrailer, McCurdy leapt out of his truck, stopped the semi and rushed the child to safety.

Jerry Wadley & Levi Ozanich

Jefferson City Correctional Center

Wadley and Oz

When an offender escaped from an outdoor recreation cage in administrative segregation and attacked a member of the support staff, pulling her to the ground and holding an improvised weapon to her throat, a dozen staff members responded. Jerry Wadley and Levi “Oz” Ozanich, who had a rapport with the offender, were able to keep him calm and keep colleagues at a safe distance while they talked. After three harrowing minutes, the offender relinquished the weapon, released the staff member and submitted to restraints. No one was injured.

Cade Thompson, Jason Huff, David Baker

Crossroads Correctional Center

Crossroads - Award of Valor

In May 2018, a group of 209 offenders at Crossroads Correctional Center refused to return to their housing units after the evening meal. Tensions escalated, evolving into a disturbance that involved 78 offenders, lasted six hours, and caused approximately $1.3 million in property damage to the central services building. In the vital early moments, before violence erupted, Cade Thompson, Jason Huff and David Baker swiftly and safely evacuated staff and offenders from the building, containing the rioters inside. No one was injured.

Team DOC Leak Busters Wins Statewide Show Me Challenge

Leak Busters

While on vacation in California, Maintenance Supervisor I Robert Miller was impressed by the low-flow showers and other water-conserving plumbing features widely used throughout the state.

So when the opportunity arose to present ideas for improving Missouri state government efficiency through the Show Me Challenge, Miller and his team at Eastern Reception Diagnostic & Correctional Center got to work on an innovative proposal. They pitched a plan for simple changes that would cut maintenance time, reduce spare parts purchases, conserve water, help the environment and save the state about $62 million a year.

Leak Busters Presentation

"We did a lot of research to get our numbers, to check the water flow. We really worked on this," said team member Kelly Krieger, an electronic technology specialist. "We're very passionate about this project. We're excited to implement this in our institution."

Out of more than 100 proposals originally submitted to the competition by more than 500 state employees, DOC Leak Busters made it to the final nine. Then they upped their game, fine-tuning the pitch for the June 21 final presentation, which included big displays of parts and gadgets, plus a clear breakdown of costs and savings.

They won.

Leak Busters gadgets

The team placed first in the competition, earning $500 for each team member, plus the opportunity to make their vision a reality.

"This would not be possible at all if we had 'bosses.' Bosses have a very strict line you gotta follow," said Miller. "We have leaders at DOC. They see us come up with something new, they say, 'Yeah, go ahead and try that.'"

Watch highlights from the presentation in this video »

Corrections Goes to the Fair


Big thanks to everyone representing the Department of Corrections at the Missouri State Fair! Booth 37 in the Agriculture Building includes a photo slideshow highlighting department achievements; a job application station where prospective staff members can apply to join the team; displays highlighting the department's agriculture projects; and, of course, State of Missouri cookies made in our culinary arts programs. 

Stop by to check it out through Aug. 18!

Building Better Leaders

Corrections emerging leaders selected for prestigious statewide program

Leadership Academy Collage

Corrections leaders are getting ready for the future. Training for the third incarnation of the State of Missouri Leadership Academy is underway, with three corrections staff in the class. The academy aims to accelerate professional growth through leadership development, skill building and driving change. Nine members of the corrections team have participated so far. 

Corrections Emerging Leaders

  • Travis Terry, Missouri Vocational Enterprises
  • Julie Bell, Eastern Reception Diagnostic & Correctional Center 
  • Scott Weber, Algoa Correctional Center
  • Chris Brewer, Western Missouri Correctional Center
  • Melinda Adams, Probation and Parole District 1
  • David Vandergriff, Farmington Correctional Center
  • Doris Falkenrath, Fulton Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center
  • Tiffany Lomosi, Probation and Parole District 10R
  • Myles Strid, Security Intelligence Unit

Farmington Correctional Center Honored

FCC with Governor

Farmington Correctional Center (FCC) has earned R. Scott Chavez Facility of the Year Award from the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC). Each year the award is presented to only one of the more than 500 jails, prisons and juvenile centers participating in the NCCHC accreditation program.

The award will be presented at the National Conference on Correctional Health Care Oct. 14. Congratulations, FCC staff!

Department Adopts New Recruitment Tools

Recruitment Video

Recruitment Video 2019

Job-seekers get a behind-the-scenes view through a recruitment video featuring new corrections uniforms and interviews with Jefferson City Correctional Center staff.  Watch the video »

Online Job Application

Apply for jobs online! Future and current members of the corrections team now have the option to search and apply for job openings using a new mobile-device-friendly application powered by Applicant Pro. Job-seekers can submit applications on a computer, tablet or cell phone. No PDFs required. More than 1,200 job candidates completed and submitted applications the first 10 days the program was available. Check it out »

Facebook Jobs Page

Facebook Jobs

A new Facebook jobs page automatically generates posts for all open positions in the Department of Corrections.

Missouri job seekers can follow the page to stay up to date on opportunities and can submit questions directly to personnel staff. Have friends looking for work? Invite them to follow @modocjobs.

New Uniforms Distributed

New Uniforms

New custody staff uniforms featuring performance-style raglan-sleeve shirts and adjustable-waist pants with rip-stop fabric are being rolled out throughout the state. The uniforms are in place in Jefferson City, Northeast, Western Missouri, Tipton and Algoa correctional centers. Orders are in place for Fulton Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center and Western Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center. All other facilities have received samples and soon will be outfitted in style.

New Video Highlights Puppies for Parole

Puppies for Parole Video

A new video produced for Royal Canin, the primary supplier of pet food for Puppies for Parole, showcases the benefits of the program. Interviews with staff and offenders as well as Royal Canin's Michael Newkirk underscore the huge impact staff have on offender-trainers, offenders have on dogs and dogs have on Missouri's families. Video by the Brighton Agency. Watch on Vimeo »

Cameron Prisons Complete Offender Transfer

Corrections staff in Cameron just made a big change without big problems. On July 12, 2019, the last group of offenders was transferred from Crossroads Correctional Center (CRCC), completing the consolidation of CRCC with Western Missouri Correctional Center. The majority of CRCC staff have begun their new positions at facilities throughout the state. A few staff remain at CRCC to maintain the buildings and grounds as well as some operations while the facility is in caretaker status. Made possible by a decline in the offender population, the consolidation helps fund the largest pay increase in Missouri Department of Corrections history. The raise is part of the state budget Governor Mike Parson signed into law June 10.

Ohio Risk Assessment System (ORAS) Overview

Latrice and Shelly

Reentry Coordinator Latrice Tate and Quality Control Coordinator Shelly Graf presented an overview of the Ohio Risk Assessment System (ORAS), the department's validated risk and needs assessment tool, during a Facebook Live lunch-and-learn last month. Thanks to everyone to participated.

Need a refresher? View their presentation slides here.

Pulse Survey Results Show Rise in State Worker Satisfaction

Pulse Survey June

Staff satisfaction is on the rise! According to the most recent statewide Pulse survey, throughout state government, staff report improvements in five priority areas at their departments: sense of direction, leadership, accountability, motivation and external orientation.

More than half of all Missouri Department of Corrections staff participated in the latest survey, which provides leaders with feedback that tells us where we need to make improvements. Take a look at the all-agency, statewide June survey results. Then take the next survey in October. 

Strategic Plan Updated With 2020-21 Priorities

Strategic Plan 2020

What are we doing? Where are we going? What does it mean for you and your job? Take a look at our strategic plan and initiatives for the latest updates on the department's priorities for fiscal years 2020-2021.

June 2019 MODOC Employee of the Month

June EOM

Kelly Hughes, a Vocational Teacher III at Western Missouri Correctional Center, is the department's June 2019 employee of the month. Hughes is always willing to help out in a pinch. When his facility was struggling to fill a vocational teacher vacancy, Hughes offered to pitch in and take over coordination of the plumbing program — while simultaneously revitalizing the auto mechanics program he runs. He successfully guided both groups to program completion and graduation. Hughes helps coworkers by filling in during staffing shortages. He helps incarcerated Missourians by ensuring they have job skills. He also helps Missouri employers by training future workers for the job market

July 2019 MODOC Employee of the Month

Tori Caldwell

Tori Caldwell, a Probation and Parole Officer II at District 14 in Charleston, is the Missouri Department of Corrections employee of the month for July 2019. Caldwell demonstrates exemplary professionalism and compassion. She knows how to implement the right intervention at the right time. Upon learning a client had become homeless and might be using drugs, she got him into a treatment program and made referrals to help him find housing after completing it.

Facility & Security News Now Available to Corrections Staff


Want to see what's happening in your adult institution or other Missouri correctional centers? Check out the Local News page on the Department of Corrections site. Updated monthly, the page provides highlights from each facility, such as promotions, new hires, retirements, major events and garden goodies.

To keep all staff up to date on safety and security, the Security Intelligence Unit has launched a Situational Awareness bulletin and quarterly newsletter. The bulletin, delivered by email to all staff, reports on searches, contraband and other security matters.

Free Online Professional Development! Log In Now!

MO Learning Town Hall

Congratulations to corrections team members who have signed up to expand their minds, hone their skills and broaden their horizons with free online professional development through MO Learning, powered by 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. 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. Start learning now at

Missouri Department of Corrections in the News

Your great work is making headlines! Check out news media coverage of staff accomplishments in safety, government innovations, programming, reentry and more.

News Collage August

Director's Award of Valor

Show Me Challenge


ASPIRE MO Entrepreneurship Program


Prison Consolidation

Criminal Justice Reform


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.

Staff News

Help Your Teammates Know Their Value

Corrections Way: Appreciate  

We're working hard to retain staff and to make the Missouri Department of Corrections a great place to work. Awards are a wonderful way to make employees feel valued, but there's more we can do every day to show how important each person is in what we do.


  • Give appreciative feedback.
  • Recognize individual strengths.
  • Remember the vital role you play in supporting the department's mission.