Staff Newsletter | December 2019

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missouri department of corrections

Employee Newsletter   |  December 2019

Happier Holidays

Corrections teams support Missouri kids

Angel Tree

In mid-Missouri, staff teamed up with area churches to buy gifts for 114 kids through Angel Tree.

Angel Tree

In a characteristic show of generosity, this year corrections staff throughout Missouri bought holiday gifts for kids with incarcerated parents through Angel Tree. Run by Prison Fellowship, the national Angel Tree   program matches kids whose parents are in prison with members of the community who want to help during the holidays. In Missouri, 6,612 kids were registered for the program, and all of them were assigned angels. In addition to the Christmas gift program, Angel Tree provides camping excursions, sports clinics and mentoring programs.

Shop with a Cop

Corrections officers throughout the state teamed up with local and state law enforcement to take Missouri kids shopping for holiday gifts. The Shop with a Cop program pairs kids from low-resource families with law-enforcement professionals to help maximize holiday magic for kids and create stronger bonds between officers and the communities they serve. Gifts are funded by donations, but officers often dig into their own pockets to make bigger contributions. Sometimes Santa wears a uniform.

Smoother Transitions

Reentry center opens inside Tipton Correctional Center


A December ribbon-cutting ceremony launched the first reentry center to operate inside a Missouri prison.


Located in Tipton Correctional Center, the reentry center provides access to government agencies and employment services to help people get back on their feet faster.

Offenders nearing release can search for and apply for jobs; explore education opportunities; get help navigating child support processes; participate in computer concepts training; and sign up for social services such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Missouri’s Medicaid program (MO HealthNet).

"If we provide folks with these services before they get out," Reentry Coordinator Shelle Jacobs told the  grand opening crowd, "that just gives them a step in the right direction when they are out." 

The Year of the Woman

Corrections teams empower Missouri women to own their futures

Two years ago, Missouri had the nation's fastest-growing female offender population, and nearly 90% of admissions to women's prisons were for treatment or technical probation and parole violations — not for new crimes.

Missouri Department of Corrections staff are changing that trend. In 2019, collaborations between corrections teams and community partners have built a brighter tomorrow for Missouri women in the criminal justice system, a safer environment for citizens and a stronger workforce for employers.

ASPIRE MO: From Offender to Entrepreneur


December marks the one-year anniversary of the ASPIRE MO entrepreneurship program and the second graduation for program participants at Women's Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center (WERDCC) in Vandalia. 

Thanks to hard work by the Office of Reentry Services and the WERDCC team, the program is helping women nearing release from prison learn not only how to start a business but also how to get and keep a good job.

Two June graduates released in the fall already have full-time jobs while pursuing their entrepreneurial business ventures. Another was released two days after completing ASPIRE MO in December, with plans to start a motorcycle repair business.


Launched in collaboration with the Missouri Women's Business Center and the Missouri Department of Economic Development's Missouri Women's Council, the ASPIRE MO entrepreneurship program is rooted in the LaunchU curriculum, a nationally recognized intensive business training course developed at Southeast Missouri State University.

Missouri women who are business owners and industry experts give guest lectures on topics such as business etiquette, cost projections and marketing strategies. For each student, the coursework culminates in a finished business plan and a pitch delivered before graduation.

Connections to Success: Ready to Work


Already a staple of reentry services in men's prisons, in 2019 the Connections to Success program expanded to Women's Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center, giving ASPIRE MO participants a double-dose of preparation for reentry into the community. The first women's graduation was held in November.

Working with facility and reentry staff, Connections to Success provides 60 hours of intensive life coaching and employability-skills development. Participants build résumés, take part in practice job interviews, learn how to answer questions about past felony convictions, and get outfitted in professional attire provided by donors. 

Connections to Success programs have been implemented at locations including Algoa Correctional Center, Kansas City Reentry Center, and Northeast Correctional Center,

Fulton Community Supervision Center: Changing Mindsets


When the Fulton Community Supervision Center (FCSC) was repurposed as an all-women's center in February, staff didn't foresee its impact. Since then, dozens of women have completed the program and relaunched their lives with a new sense of purpose. They have reconnected with family members, found good jobs, committed to sobriety and welcomed new babies into the world, free from drugs. 

The residential center for women on probation and parole provides a gender-responsive and trauma-informed four-stage program in a therapeutic environment. Women take part in counseling, substance use treatment, job readiness and life skills courses, such as cooking and budgeting. The most recent group completed the program in December.

Pay Plan Rollout

The cost-of-living pay increase for all Missouri state government workers and a Missouri Department of Corrections retention increase both go into effect Jan. 1, 2020. The cost-of-living increase for all state employees is 3%. In addition, every non-executive corrections staff member employed as of Dec. 31, 2019, will receive a salary increase based on total cumulative years of service with the department.

The initial MODOC retention increase will be 1% of the induction rate of your current position for every 2 years of service, up to 20 years (maximum 10%). This increase will be effective Jan. 1, 2020, and will appear on your Jan. 31, 2020, paycheck.

All members of the corrections team have received or soon will receive a letter from the department indicating the dollar amount that your pay will increase, based on your years of service. Please note that this amount reflects only the 1% MODOC retention increase. You are getting a 3% cost-of-living increase in addition to the retention increase, but the letter does not include the 3% cost-of-living increase. 

This letter is part of an effort to ensure that all staff are notified of the induction rates of their positions and to verify each employee’s years-of-service information. 

On each future even-year service anniversary, you will receive an increase of 1% of the induction rate of your current position for every 2 years of service, up to 20 years (maximum 10%). Your service anniversary may be a calculated date if you have breaks in service.

Employees who leave the department and are rehired after Jan, 1, 2020, will lose prior service credit for the purpose of calculating retention pay. However, their starting salaries will reflect the statewide 3% pay increase.

Please contact your personnel office if you have questions.

November 2019 MODOC Employee of the Month

Christine Stone

Christine Stone, a case manager at Western Missouri Correctional Center, is the ideal staff member to recognize during the holiday season. Since becoming WMCC's restorative justice coordinator in February 2019, she has launched multiple new projects that spread the spirit of giving.

WMCC Restorative Justice Program participants now crochet hats for donation to hospitals, schools and shelters; make receiving blankets for babies and comfort blankets for children with cancer, donated through Project Linus; create artwork for a local veterans’ home; and grow fruit for food banks. Stone also has coordinated the distribution of wooden step stools and supply caddies, made by vocational students in the facility’s woodworking program, to area schools.


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.

Giving Big

charitable campaign

Corrections staff donated more than $120,000 this year to the Missouri State Employees Charitable Campaign.

Across all state government agencies, 5,849 staff members donated $958,215 to 706 charitable organizations, such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Samaritan Center and the Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri.

Combatting Contraband


Substance use in adult institutions is a serious problem that threatens not only institutional security and offender health but also the safety and well-being of facility staff. Stemming the influx of illegal drugs, as well as the misuse of over-the-counter and prescription medications, requires commitment and active support from every person on every corrections team. 

Corrections staff and contracted staff work hard to address the demand for drugs in prison by providing treatment, counseling and support. They also work hard to stop the supply of dangerous contraband to offenders by conducting thorough screenings and searches and providing vital intelligence. To help keep your teammates safe, remain vigilant and immediately report any suspicious activity. Visit the Corrections website for more information on what we're doing to keep drugs out of prison and how you can help. Anonymous reports can be made through the TIPS line at 573-526-0514.

Grant Funds Green Infrastructure Improvements

Thanks to our Planning and Grants Unit, the Missouri Department of Corrections was awarded $10,000 in grant funding for infrastructure upgrades that create a safer work environment at the Algoa Correctional Center (ACC) and Jefferson City Correctional Center (JCCC) cook-chill operation. The grant from Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Solid Waste District H will fund a new roll-off container for recyclables and a new concrete pad and shelter for a vertical baler. The Office of Administration (OA) has agreed to purchase the $17,000 baler. The aspiration of this grant is to improve the safety and efficiency of corrections recycling operations at the institution and to improve the long-term funding sustainability for recycling amid rising operational costs.

Safer Workplaces

One of the three major priority areas of the department's strategic plan is to create safer work environments for our teams. So far, 89% of the initiatives developed to support this goal are either complete or in progress. Another 11% are in the planning stages.

Here are a few things the department has done to make our work sites safer:

  • New CERT equipment
  • CERT training
  • Hostage training
  • Crisis negotiation training
  • Expanded Crisis Intervention Team training 
  • Mental Health First Aid
  • Security upgrades in offices
  • Tobacco-free workplaces
  • Offender tablets
  • Recruitment initiatives

We're also working on:

  • P&P safety packages
  • Behavior matrix for tablets
  • Youthful offender policy
  • Security threat group identification & tracking
  • Restrictive housing improvements

Strategic Plan

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 reentry, community service and more.


Giving Back


Fulton Community Supervision Center

Arts & Education

Combatting Recidivism


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

R-E-S-P-E-C-T in M-O-D-O-C


We're working hard to recruit and retain staff and to make  our department a great place to work. Demonstrating respect for coworkers builds a positive work environment. 


  • Encourage coworkers to share ideas, and then listen.
  • Don't engage in insults or name-calling.
  • Be mindful and accepting of cultural differences.