Staff Newsletter | October 2019

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missouri department of corrections

Employee Newsletter   |  October 2019

Corrections Heroes Honored

Governor Parson presents four officers with major award

Governor's medal

Governor Mike Parson presents the Governor's Medal to Cody Ross, Jason Huff, Cade Thompson and Andrew Fritzinger.

In an Oct. 7 public safety awards ceremony, Governor Mike Parson presented the Governor's Medal to corrections team members Cody Ross, Jason Huff, Cade Thompson and Andrew Fritzinger in recognition of their bravery

These exceptional staff members were instrumental in keeping Missourians at Crossroads Correctional Center safe when an offender protest escalated into a major disturbance and widespread property damage in May 2018. They swiftly quickly evacuated staff and offenders from the central services building. Thanks to their quick actions, no staff members were injured.

Governor Parson also honored Cameron Police Chief Richard Bashor, who activated the tactical team and command center that night, and Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper Bradley Muck,
a hostage negotiator who engineered the offenders' surrender.

Corrections Reentry Manager Ken Chapman, a pastor, delivered the invocation at the ceremony.

Public Safety Awards

See photos from the ceremony »

Reentry Opportunity Center Opens in Columbia

ROC opening

Hundreds of community members joined us in Columbia Oct. 17 for the grand opening of the Reentry Opportunity Center. Spearheaded by Dan Hanneken, founder of the faith-based residential reentry program in2Action, the center serves as a one-stop shop where Missourians returning to Boone County from prison or jail can get access the resources they need. The center partners with the Missouri Department of Corrections, local law enforcement, county courts and organizations that help with employment, housing, food, health care, mental health and substance use treatment.

September 2019 MODOC Employee of the Month

Lucretia Wethington

Lucretia Wethington, a special assistant technical and process analyst in the Division of Adult Institutions, is someone Missourians can count on in an emergency. While on her way to work in the Jefferson City, Wethington encountered a semi-truck and trailer accident outside Meta, Missouri. After learning that emergency services had not yet been notified, she called 911 and shared details of the accident.

A former corrections officer trained in first aid and CPR, she approached the driver and assessed his injuries. He had lacerations to both legs, which Wethington cleaned, treated and wrapped using a first aid kit from her own car. She then waited with the driver for the arrival of emergency medical technicians, who praised her first-aid work as well as her willingness to assist. Thanks to her great skills and big heart, a stranger got the quick help he needed, preventing more serious injury.

Farmington Correctional Center Wins National Award


Farmington Correctional Center has been named the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare Facility of the Year. The R. Scott Chavez Facility of the Year award is presented annually to one correctional facility selected from nearly 500 prisons, jails and juvenile facilities accredited by NCCHC. Services at Farmington, run by Corizon Health, include medical, mental health, dental, substance abuse and sex offender treatment. The multi-disciplinary team was recognized by NCCHC for “an exemplary focus on quality patient care” and superior communications.

Southeast Correctional Center Supports Global Food Program

Feed My Starving Children

For the second time this year, Southeast Correctional Center hosted a food-packing event with the international organization Feed My Starving Children. On Oct. 2, community volunteers, offender volunteers and staff worked together to pack 191,000 meals for food-insecure children in developing countries. In April, the SECC team packed 164,000 meals. Donations through offender and church fundraisers paid for the meal components.

First Class Graduates from Urban League Program

Urban League

Eleven Missouri men have completed the first Urban League program to be held inside a prison in the national organization's 100-year history. Algoa Correctional Center Institutional Activity Coordinator Meryl Miller teamed up with Save Our Sons Director Jamie Dennis from the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis to prepare men with employability and life skills before release and then provide access to a vast network of support service after. Two participants will be featured in a documentary film as they reenter the community.

Industrial Technology Training

Technology Training

Poplar Bluff-area probation and parole clients now have a new option for vocational education. The District 25 Poplar Bluff Probation and Parole Office is partnering with Three Rivers College and Workforce Development to host industrial technology training for clients. The three-week, 120-hour Industrial Tech I courses prepare community supervision center residents, as well as unemployed and underemployed clients in the community, for well-paid careers in manufacturing. In an area replete with manufacturers, the program benefits local employers and supports the economy. The next session of Industrial Technology I and II classes will begin in November at the Poplar Bluff Community Supervision Center.

Boonville Correctional Center Featured in Photo Project


The Boonville Correctional Center team welcomed New York photographer Bing Guan into their facility as part of the Missouri School of Journalism's annual Missouri Photo Workshop. Photographers from throughout the United States spent a week documenting life in Boonville and then held a exhibit for the community.

Boonville Dogs

Working with BCC staff, Guan shared the story of offender Timothy Hoosier, who was released from BCC the week after the workshop closed. Guan's images capture the the rapport staff have built with offenders and showcase programs such as Puppies for Parole, the Heavy Equipment Operation class and the Missouri Veterans Project.

See the full photo story »

Department Partners with Universities on Staff Development

The Missouri Department of Corrections has been hard at work building partnerships to develop our workforce and remain competitive in Missouri’s growing economy. A recent staff survey indicated more than 70% of corrections employees would be interested in earning college degrees if tuition assistance or discounts are available. Department leaders reached out to Missouri colleges and universities to explore options for tuition discounts, internships and credits earned through MDOC training.

So far we have finalized strategic partnerships with Culver-Stockton College, Missouri State University, University of Central Missouri and Southeast Missouri State University. Benefits for MDOC employees include 5-15% tuition discounts, admission waivers and potential course credit. Southeast Missouri State University’s Department of Criminal Justice, Social Work, and Sociology has also agreed to work with the Division of Probation and Parole to provide interns to work in underserved locations in southeast Missouri.

During a period of rising tuition costs and increasing competitiveness in the job market, these opportunities can help the corrections team learn and grow professionally.

Courage for Life Gives Chillicothe Women Spiritual Help

Courage for Life

Staff at Chillicothe Correctional Center are leading a nine-week program for self-empowerment and coping with trauma. Created by author and motivational speaker Ann White, the faith-based “Courage for My Life” curriculum is designed specifically for incarcerated women. Eighteen women completed the inaugural session. White and ministry director Kathy Urbanick joined the Chillicothe team for a music-filled service and a graduation ceremony.

Helping Others Rise Above


The Missouri State Employees Charitable Campaign (MSECC) annual unified fundraising effort is underway. Last year Missouri state government staff raised more than $1 million for community organizations that help fellow Missourians. Contribute through a payroll deduction or a one-time gift.

Strategic Plan With Fiscal Year 2020 Updates

Strategic Plan FY2020

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.

Missouri Department of Corrections in the News

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

October News Photo


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 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.