Staff Newsletter | November 2019

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missouri department of corrections

Employee Newsletter   |  November 2019

Honoring Veterans

Department recognizes veterans on staff, in the community and incarcerated in institutions


Throughout Veterans Week, corrections celebrated Missourians who serve our country, with activities, displays and events.

Throughout Veterans Week 2019, corrections saluted Missourians who have served in the United States military.

Administrators and personnel clubs held dress-down days and served cupcakes. They presented thank-you cards, letters and certificates of appreciation for staff who are veterans.

Facilities that operate veterans dorms and participate in the Missouri Veterans Project held ceremonies with guest speakers and honor guards. Others hung plaques, set up patriotic displays, and gave veteran offenders privileges such as being served first at meals.

To honor and help veterans in the community, Missouri Vocational Enterprises donated 355 "Honor and Remember" flags to the Missouri Veterans Commission. Restorative Justice groups painted murals for a VFW building and donated homemade stocking caps, pillow cases and other necessities, as well as monetary gifts, to homes and organizations that serve veterans in the state. 

We're grateful for the service of all staff who are veterans or active duty to the United States.

Warm Welcome

Fulton Community Supervision Center holds open house

fulton hug

A new video featuring Fulton Community Superivison Center staff and community partners highlights the innovative work the FCSC team is doing to help women cope with trauma, learn life skills and return to their communities ready for success.

The Fulton Community Supervision Center, the first all-women's residential probation and parole center in Missouri, opened its doors to partner agencies, community members and area media this month. Open house attendees watched the premiere of a video highlighting FCSC staff and residents. They learned about the four phases of the center's gender-responsive and trauma-informed programming. They also heard the personal stories of women whose lives have been transformed by Department of Corrections staff. See coverage in the Columbia Missourian, KOMU and the Fulton Sun.

What Your Corrections Job is REALLY Worth

Dwight with Figures

What do you get with a job? In some jobs, it’s just a paycheck. And nothing else. When you work in the Missouri Department of Corrections, you get so much more. A sense of purpose. Fulfillment. Stability. Camaraderie.


Personnel Director Dwight Politte breaks down the true value of a job in the Missouri Department of Corrections and explains what each state benefit is worth to you and family. 

Watch the video »

Learn more about Missouri state employee benefits »

Pomp & Pageantry

Miss U.S.A. attends Connections to Success Graduation


The latest group of offenders to complete the Connections to Success program at Kansas City Reentry Center had a special show of support on their graduation day. Miss U.S.A. Cheslie Kryst gave the commencement address to graduates. 

Kryst is an attorney, an advocate for criminal justice reform and an ambassador for Dress for Success, an organization providing professional clothing and job preparation to low-resource people. The Missouri nonprofit Connections to Success is part of the Dress for Success network.

KCRC Connections Class

In the Connections to Success reentry program, KCRC staff work diligently with the team from CTS to equip men nearing release from prison with the skills, confidence and positive mindset they need to succeed in the community, contribute to the workforce and avoid reoffending. Participants learn to identify their strengths and communicate effectively about the value they can bring to an organization.



Along with Kryst's address, ceremony attendees were treated to performances of an original song, “Part of Me,” by graduate David Benassi, and an original poem, “Man Speech,” by graduate James Murray.

Watch video highlights from the ceremony »

October 2019 MODOC Employee of the Month

October EOM

Sarah Wright, a senior office support assistant at Jefferson City Correctional Center, finds better ways to get things done.

When JPay tablets were distributed to offenders in late 2018, the new tool came with new tasks for staff: processing and tracking a multitude of censored messages, photos and videos sent through the secure email system.

Wright put in extra work and found a way to make the process run faster while ensuring all information is neatly and accurately logged. Her system has been upheld as a model for other facilities.

Reentry Rock Stars

Corrections teams and community partners join forces at annual conference

Members of the corrections team brought their A-game to the 2019 Missouri Reentry Conference, with panels and presentations showcasing what we're doing to ensure the 19,000 people leaving Missouri prisons each year are ready to be good neighbors. More about reentry »

All About Staff


This year's conference theme, "Finding the Balance," explored what professional who work with people in the criminal justice system can do to better take care of ourselves and one another — especially when affected by direct or vicarious trauma.

Director Anne Precythe kicked on the conference with a message in support of self-care.

Trauma Team

trauma panel

Reentry Coordinator Danielle Bellamy, Functional Unit Manager Rusty Ratliff and Mental Health Contract Monitor Jessica Feldmann joined a panel with former offenders Jeff Lee, a Connections to Success project manager, and Mataka Askari (aka Michael Eanes), a Burrell Behavioral Health peer support specialist. They shared tips on how to recognize signs of stress and anticipate emotional triggers — and what to do about them.

More Fun = More Safety

SECC Facility Appreciation Day

What do softball and mini golf have to do with improving prison safety? A lot. In an effort to create a more positive environment and boost mental health, Southeast Correctional Center began putting on offender-staff softball games and holding annual Facility Appreciation Day 24-hour staff parties filled with games, karaoke and stress-relieving activities. 

Since then, thanks to these and other major changes, uses of force and staff assaults at the facility have dropped by more than 60%. “We have seen some real changes by just opening our minds,” SECC staff member Richard Adams said. Adams, Donna Peters and Matt Raymond presented their results (and their games) at the conference. 

Justice Reinvestment Primer

JRI Reentry Conference

In an all-conference presentation, Justice Reinvestment Initiative Coordinator Meckenzie Hayes broke down the basics of JRI . Staff from Central Office, Probation and Parole and Adult Institutions answered questions about JRI and how its components affect everyone's job.

Learn more about the Justice Reinvestment Initiative »


When it comes to changing the mindsets and behaviors of people in the criminal justice system, we know a cookie-cutter approach doesn’t work. In order to send people back to the community better than they were when they came to us, we need to tailor our approach to the needs and strengths of each offender. The Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) will help us get there.

Fall Fest Helps Kids

Fall Fest

Staff at Western Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center in St. Joseph brought big smiles to little faces this season. The team threw a fall party for students at Helen M. Davis State School, a state-run education center for kids with special needs.

Funded by staff donations, the event included pumpkin decorating, snacks, movies and a hay ride.

Fighting World Hunger

Southeast Correctional Center hosts second food-packing event 

Feed My Starving Children

Last month Southeast Correctional Center partnered with La Croix Church to hungry children in developing countries through Feed My Starving Children, for the second time. In one day, 282 volunteers packed 191,160 meals with food funded by staff, offender and church donations. It's enough to feed 523 kids for a year. SECC Institutional Training Officer Allen Hughes says programs like these transform lives inside, as well as outside, prisons. The facility has seen a huge drop in offender altercations, conduct violations, uses of force and grievances. "The overall culture at SECC is changing," Hughes says. "They're seeing that we really care about them being successful once they reenter society."

A new video highlighting corrections staff captures the community spirit that fuels these events.  

Watch the video »

A Lifetime of Support

Northeast Correctional Center joins Correctional Peace Officers Foundation


Northeast Correctional Center has earned lifetime membership in the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation, an organization that supports the families of officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. A facility attains lifetime membership by donating $5,000 or more to CPOF. NECC raised the bulk of this donation during a September golf tournament, which raked in $3,100. NECC golfers competed against teams from Jefferson City and Women's Eastern Reception & Diagnostic correctional centers, with an NECC team taking hope the winning title. NECC is the second Missouri Department of Corrections facility, after Southeast Correctional Center, to earn this distinction.

Standing Together Against Domestic Violence

Purple Thursday

Corrections staff donned violet shirts, painted their ring-fingernails lilac, held poster contests and posed for photos on Purple Thursday and throughout October in a show of support for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

In Restorative Justice programs, offenders supported the cause, spreading the message to peers through posters and art projects.

The national movement aims to boost the public's knowledge of domestic violence facts, share advice on prevention and help victims find the resources they need. 

Domestic violence disproportionately affects the corrections world. Women involved in the criminal justice system experience high rates of domestic violence. Corrections professionals also are more likely than the general population to be involved in domestic abuse.

If you are affected by domestic violence or know someone who is, get help now.

MO Learning = MO Winning

#CorrectionsGoals: 1 hour of learning per team member

MO Learning

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. These courses are free to state employees at

The Department of Corrections strives to reach a monthly goal of 1 hour of viewing per month per staff member. Here's how we've been doing this month, Nov. 1-20:

Division of Adult Institutions

  • First Place: Maryville Treatment Center: 1 hour 26 minutes per staff member
  • Second Place: Chillicothe Correctional Center: 39.6 minutes per staff member

Other Divisions

  • First Place: Division of Human Services: 23.4 minutes per staff member

Contact Lori Goedken, Victoria Mc Bride or Paula Ramirez for more information on how to make MO Learning work for you.  

Together let’s build a culture of learning!

Strategic Plan With Fiscal Year 2020 Updates

Strategic Plan

What are we doing? Where are we going? What does it mean for you and your job?

We’re making big progress in our three focus areas: workplace safety, workforce development and reducing risk and recidivism. More than half of our strategic initiatives are complete. The prison population continues to decline. The corrections officer staffing level remains steady (though still not high enough). Assaults on staff have declined. Offender grievances and staff civil rights complaints are down. Workforce development programs are growing.

Take a look at our strategic plan and initiatives for the latest updates on the department's priorities.

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.

November News

Fulton Community Supervision Center

Connections to Success at Kansas City Reentry Center


Reentry Opportunity Center


Criminal Justice Reform

Restorative Justice


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

Be Part of the Solution


We're working hard to recruit and retain staff; to increase salaries and decrease overtime; and to make the Missouri Department of Corrections a great place to work.


  • Warmly welcome new employees.
  • Show appreciation for your coworkers.
  • Keep a positive mindset.