Staff Newsletter | January 2020

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missouri department of corrections

Employee Newsletter   |  January 2020

2020 Vision

See what's in store for the year

Strategic Plan

Kelly Dills, quality assurance and process improvement manager, walks us through the department's strategic initiatives.

We have big plans for 2020! Initiatives underway in the Department of Corrections are designed to boost workplace safety, develop our teams and reduce risk and recidivism in Missouri. A new video narrated by Quality Assurance and Process Improvement Manager Kelly Dills explains how each initiative fits into the big picture. 

Watch the video »

19 Things We Did in 2019

2019 in Review

In 2019, MODOC deepened our commitment to the mission of improving lives for safer communities. Corrections teams throughout the state helped cultivate a better situation for citizens. We rescued Missourians from life-threatening dangers, helped save towns from disasters, prepared new workers for the job market, empowered women to take control of their future and launched money-saving innovations. 

Here are just a few things we accomplished »

State of the State Address

Governor Parson recognizes Department of Corrections accomplishments

ASPIRE grads

From left: First Lady Teresa Parson, ASPIRE MO graduates Nigaila Gibbs and Emily Kirchhoff, and Governor Mike Parson meet in the governor's office before the State of the State Address.

During his Jan. 15, 2020, State of the State Address, Governor Mike Parson outlined his vision for Missouri in the coming year, including renewed focus on and support for public safety, workforce development, education, and infrastructure improvements. He also gave a shoutout to the Department of Corrections for our 2019 accomplishments.

Watch the State of the State Address »

Learn about the governor's legislative priorities and recommendations »


State of the State

Among the governor's special guests for the occasion were Nigaila Gibbs and Emily Kirchhoff, two graduates of the ASPIRE MO entrepreneurship program. Since completing the 20-week intensive business training course and being released from Women's Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center, both women have landed good jobs and begun to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. Their successes earned a standing ovation from State of the State attendees. Thank you to the staff from the Reentry Unit and WERDCC for helping build a better future for Missouri women and advancing our shared goal of cultivating a stronger state workforce.

Prison Consolidation Praise

Budget Signing

During the State of the State Address, the governor applauded the successful consolidation of Crossroads Correctional Center with Western Missouri Correctional Center. Announced in the 2019 State of the State address and completed by summer, the consolidation generated $22 million in savings, which the department reinvested in staff pay raises that took effect Jan. 1. Thank you to the CRCC and WMCC teams who made a complicated process look easy.

2020 Plans

Adding to the pay increases that went into effect Jan. 1, Governor Parson has recommended a 2% cost-of-living raise for all state workers, an increase in the stipend paid to Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT) members, and pay increases for a few specific jobs based on a state-wide market study. More great news for MODOC!

He also has announced support for MODOC's plan to close or remove beds from housing units that pose infrastructure challenges as well as those that are challenging to secure. We plan to reinvest the savings in vital infrastructure and safety improvements for our corrections team. This change will enable the department to take 1,756 offender beds offline and will eliminate the need to fill 131 vacant full-time positions, improving our staffing levels, boosting safety and reducing mandatory overtime statewide.

No prison closures, facility consolidations, additional inmate releases or layoffs are included in this plan.

Affected buildings include 16 House at ACC; Houses 6, 10 and 15 at BCC; Units 1-4 at TCC, half of Unit 17 at NECC; 1JD and 1TD at WRDCC; and 30 House at FCC.

See the details in Director Precythe's message to staff »

Governor Visits Fulton Community Supervision Center

Governor FCSC Staff

Governor Mike Parson visits staff at the District 26 Division of Probation & Parole office and the Fulton Community Supervision Center.

As part of the Council of State Governments Face to Face project, this month Governor Mike Parson visited the Fulton Community Supervision Center, which opened a year ago as the state's first all-female center for Missouri women on probation or parole supervision.

Parson Stone

The governor talked with  Desiree Stone, a graduate of FCSC's gender-responsive, trauma-informed program. Since graduation, Stone has gotten a job and given birth to a healthy baby boy, Stephon, now 3 months old. The day of the governor's visit coincided with her last day on probation.

The governor and his team met with staff in the CSC as well as the District 26 probation and parole office. See more photos »

New Year, New Wardens

Scott Weber

Scott Weber became the warden of Moberly Correctional Center Jan. 4, 2020.

A member of the corrections team since 2003, he has worked as a recreation officer, an investigator, a corrections case manager (I, II and III), a functional unit manager and an assistant warden. He served as deputy warden at Algoa Correctional Center from 2018 to 2020.

Warden Weber holds a bachelor's degree in sports marketing and physical education from the University of Central Missouri and a master's degree in public affairs from the University of Missouri.



Ryan Brownlow is the new warden of Western Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center.

Brownlow began his career at WRDCC as a Corrections Officer I in 2008. He has worked as a case worker, a case manager, a functional unit manager and an assistant warden. He served as deputy warden at WRDCC from 2016 to 2020.

Warden Brownlow holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Missouri Western State University.

December 2019 MODOC Employee of the Month

December EOM

Rebecca Jones, a Corrections Records Officer III at Algoa Correctional Center, goes out of her way to help colleagues. While evaluating the records office in Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center, Jones realized the ERDCC team needed hands-on help. She offered to split her time between ACC and ERDCC, traveling the 135 miles between Jefferson City and Bonne Terre for five months to spend half a week at each location. During that time, Jones helped organize the office, train the team and realign duties among records officers and support staff. She also succeeded at keeping her own staff on task. Thanks to her leadership and professionalism, both records offices are running like clockwork.

Correction Heroes Thwart Influx of Contraband

Intelligence and investigations staff stop drugs from entering two Missouri prisons


Investigations spearheaded by Missouri Department of Corrections intelligence specialists have led to the interception of contraband at Moberly Correctional Center (MCC) and Western Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center (WRDCC) this month, bolstering the safety of staff and offenders who work and live in these facilities.

Following up on suspicions, an intelligence analyst and an institutional investigator at MCC worked with the local drug task force to prevent 173 grams of synthetic marijuana, or K2, and two pounds of tobacco from entering the prison. The investigation led to the arrest of an institutional staff member, who has been charged with delivery of a controlled substance to a correctional facility. Four offenders were placed in segregated housing pending further investigation. After receiving intelligence about possible incoming contraband, WRDCC administrators searched a staff member, found K2 in his possession and notified the local drug task force, who arrested him.

K2 has been illegal in the state of Missouri since 2010. A 2018 Department of Corrections policy bans the sale, possession and use of all tobacco products within the perimeter of adult institutions as well as inside all buildings and vehicles owned or leased by the department.

Illegal contraband poses a risk to institutional safety and security. The department relies on the vigilance of not only intelligence and investigative but all staff to help keep dangerous substances out of our facilities. We're grateful to the members of our team whose close attention to detail has helped to improve safety.

Brighter Days

Pulse survey results show boost in corrections staff morale

The latest results of the statewide quarterly pulse survey show a noteworthy improvement in corrections staff attitudes toward the department and the job. Results of the December 2019 survey, completed by 5,513 members of the corrections team, indicated significant increases in the percentage of staff members who report that they understand the direction the department is going; they feel valued and supported by their supervisors and leaders; they have opportunities for professional development; and they feel engaged and care about the fate of the department. There is room for growth, but we're heading in the right direction, and more and more of us are investing energy in building better workplace culture. Please continue to complete the quarterly pulse surveys. What you say matters. Your feedback makes us better.

New ENGAGE Model Ready for Rollout

Engage 2.0

The next level of ENGAGE monthly conversations between staff and their supervisors is underway, with statewide preparation starting in January and the new ENGAGE 2.0 components launching in March. ENGAGE 2.0 aims to expand on the first iteration with higher-quality ENGAGE conversations,
clearer expectations, a link between performance and recognition, and a growth model designed to help you blaze your trail. Learn more about how it works »   

Casey Osterkamp, director of the Division of Personnel, has presented ENGAGE 2.0 in town hall meetings throughout the state. If you missed the presentation, you can watch it here » 

$200,000 Grant Supports Corrections Research

Project in partnership with the University of Missouri School of Social Work launches at MCC


In 2017, Missouri had the nation’s eighth-highest incarceration rate and fastest-growing female prison population, with more than half of new prison admissions driven by factors other than new crimes. Now, a $200,000 grant from the Urban Institute and a partnership with the University of Missouri School of Social Work are fueling research aimed at helping MODOC invigorate rehabilitation for Missourians involved in the criminal justice system — ultimately elevating public safety.

Missouri is one of five states chosen to join the Prison Research and Innovation Network (PRIN), which leverages research, data and evidence in fostering innovations that make prisons safer and more rehabilitative. The designation comes with a $100,000 grant for on-site prison research innovation management; a $100,000 grant to support MU research activities; and technical assistance from experts and peer agencies.

“I am a firm believer in using research and data to make good decisions,” Director Anne Precythe said. “We’re thrilled to work with the University of Missouri, to join the network and to further implement evidence-based practices, policies and programs that advance our goal of improving lives for safer communities.”

The 4.5-year research project will be piloted at Moberly Correctional Center, which is equipped with a solid foundation for fostering a more rehabilitative approach to corrections. It’s the inaugural site of the Missouri Veterans Project, it houses two intensive therapeutic communities, and it offers 48 courses and groups that build skills in areas such as anger management, parenting, employability preparation and addiction management. Building on this foundation, MU School of Social Work researchers will lead PRIN research projects focused on effective remediation for long-term behavioral change and rehabilitation.

Corrections Participates in 'Show Me Excellence'

The Missouri Department of Corrections is strengthening its operational excellence (OpEx) muscles as part of the state’s “Show Me Excellence” initiative. Rooted in the goal of creating value for citizens, the operational excellence state initiative led by the Governor’s Office combines best practices into a system wherein all components work together to create high-functioning organizations. 

Operational Excellence

The practices that form operational excellence are not new or original; they have been collected, refined, and implemented by major organizations, including state government agencies. At the heart of OpEx is the idea that what gets measured gets managed; decisions are informed by data. The Department of Corrections has a history of data-driven decision-making, and we're reintroducing that principle through the use of dashboards and project management practices within our budgeting, operational, and strategic planning activities. Be on the lookout for more information each month as the department and state move forward in our efforts to create the best Missouri we can!

Puppies for Parole Pooch: Mali


Meet Mali, a 2-year-old Golden Retriever mix in the Puppies for Parole program at Farmington Correctional Center. She is smart, laid back and happy to hang out with her humans. She likes to be an only dog and the center of attention.

If someone who know can offer a forever home to Mali or another P4P dog, check out the website » 


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.

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 drug interdictions, reentry, research and more.

January News Collage

Tipton Reentry Center

Research Grant

State of the State Address

Drug Interdiction


Shop With a Cop


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

Build Rapport with Coworkers


We're working hard to recruit and retain staff and to make the Missouri Department of Corrections a great place to work. Teamwork is essential to everything we do. It helps ensure safety. It makes us stronger. It even brings a little more fun to our daily jobs.


  • Listen to your coworkers, and show empathy.
  • Share ideas, and collaborate on projects.
  • Work together to solve problems and resolve conflicts.