Staff Newsletter | April 2020

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missouri department of corrections

Employee Newsletter   |  April 2020

Walk of Pride

In a crisis, corrections rises to the challenge

Sidewalk Chalk

The sidewalks leading to Moberly Correctional Center held special messages for the team this month.

For essential personnel working during a crisis, words of encouragement can do wonders. Staff entering Moberly Correctional Center the first week in April were greeted with sidewalk chart art and inspiring messages from their team members.

In bright spring colors, the artists told their colleagues how much the essential work they're doing means to the community. "The world needed a hero," one message said, "so you became one."

State government offices are closed to the public, but prisons operate 24/7, with all facility staff reporting to duty daily. While many businesses have shut down during the statewide stay-at-home order, 99% of corrections staff in all divisions continue to report to work, either on site or (thanks to our tech teams!) from remote locations.


Missouri Vocational Enterprises manufactures vital supplies

Embodying innovation and the ultimate do-it-yourself spirit, Missouri Vocational Enterprises (MVE) has shifted prison industry operations in response to the COVID-19, or coronavirus, public health crisis. Working extra shifts, MVE teams are making hand sanitizer, face coverings, protective gowns and extra toilet paper for corrections staff and fellow government agencies. 

Hand Sanitizer 

hand sanitizer

Since the novel coronavirus began spreading rapidly throughout the United States, products such as hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes have been in short supply, and producers have struggled to keep up with the demand. 

The shortage of hand sanitizer has meant government agencies don't always have enough in stock to protect people working on the front lines or to help contain community spread of the virus.

Equipped with our own chemical plant, the Missouri Department of Corrections is ready to lend a hand. 

Hand Sanitizer

Using a combination of purchased supplies and some private donations, the MVE chemical plant began making hand sanitizer inside Eastern Reception Diagnostic & Correctional Center in Bonne Terre March 27. In the first week, the plant produced 6,800 gallons for distribution to government agencies throughout Missouri, including all MODOC work sites.

The plant also is keeping up its regular production of items we need now more than ever, such as soap, janitorial supplies, household cleaning products and disinfectant.

Face Coverings


MODOC also took a DIY approach when up against a global shortage of face coverings. While the department has procured sufficient medical-grade N95 personal face masks to be used in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak inside a prison, basic face coverings for day-to-day use are hard to find. So MVE is making them for our staff.

Using a prototype developed by MVE and approved by the Department of Health & Senior Services, clothing factories at Chillicothe Correctional Center, Farmington Correctional Center, Jefferson City Correctional Center and Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center produced 5,000 face coverings over the course of a weekend. Distribution to staff throughout the state began April 6. The following weekend, MVE worked through Easter and made 10,300 more.

So far, MVE has produced 52,818 face coverings — 34,318 for staff and 18,500 for offenders. More are on the way.

Health experts recommend using these fabric face coverings in combination with other healthy practices, such as frequent hand washing and physical distancing. They can be cleaned and reused in accordance with Centers for Disease Control & Prevention guidelines.

Protective Gowns


Seven facilities run by the Missouri Veterans Commission provide long-term skilled nursing care to Missourians who have served in the United States military. Located throughout the state, veterans homes offer secured units with specialized programming for dementia care; medical and skilled nursing care; nutrition services; recreational and rehabilitative therapy; social services and pastoral services. A global shortage of health care products has left the staff working in these residential facilities with insufficient protective gowns. MVE once again stepped up to the plate and produced 4,000 gowns for the Missouri Veterans Commission through the Jefferson City Correctional Center MVE clothing factory.

Toilet Paper


The notorious nationwide toilet paper shortage resulting from over-consumption and hording has spared no one. Fortunately, in corrections, we make our own. To help keep Missouri government agencies and nonprofit organizations well supplied, the already-established MVE toilet paper factory in Cameron has ramped up production, with an additional 600-800 cases each week. By adding extra shifts, the factory now produces 3,500 cases (or 336,000 rolls) every week.

Probation & Parole Finds Creative Solutions

Cade - Tipton

With most state government offices closed to the public, stay-at-home orders in place, and staff encouraged to work at home as much as possible, the Division of Probation and Parole team has found innovative ways to safely supervise clients.

District offices remain open and staffed, with some clients reporting there. 

Officers are using a combination of community visits, phone contact, video visits and electronic monitoring in community supervision. 


Some districts, such as District 19 and District 27, have created drive-thru and curbside supervision options. Offenders can stay in their cars during meetings, and staff can maintain a safe distance from outside the car or inside an office window. They keep their clients on track without putting their health at risk.

Other steps taken to protect probation and parole staff include screening of all people attempting to enter a district office; enhanced intake screenings at residential facilities; suspension of interstate compact transfers; and the use of video conferencing for parole hearings.


Restorative Justice Covers the Community

Protective Face Coverings


While Missouri Vocational Enterprises is hard at work manufacturing face coverings for staff and offenders, Restorative Justice participants are making them by hand to protect some of our state's vulnerable citizens.

In prisons throughout Missouri, Restorative Justice staff have been leading sewing groups in the manufacture of protective face coverings for use by the community. The completed projects are delivered to health care workers, senior centers and other community organizations.

RJ Masks

Women's Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center donated 200 face coverings to Mercy Children's Hospital.

Algoa Correctional Center donated 150 cloth face coverings to Boone Supportive Living, 20 to Callaway Senior Center and 10 to the Fulton Soup Kitchen.

Buddy Bracelets

bracelet pile

Studies show that victims of childhood bullying are more likely than their peers to be convicted of crimes and spend time in prison.

To help stop the cycle, Restorative Justice staff in Missouri state prisons help offenders get anti-bullying messages to young people.

rj staff

In March, Ozark Correctional Center Restorative Justice Program participants invested 3,000 hours in making buddy bracelets for students at Seymour Elementary School. Each was packaged with an anti-bullying message, such as "Be a Friend," "Bullies Don't Wear Bracelets," and "Make good choices; don't be a bully."

The plan to distribute them at an assembly fell through when schools closed statewide. Instead, students dropping off and picking up homework packets this month exchanged their completed schoolwork for colorful bracelets.

Jeff Norman Named Division of Adult Institutions Director

Jeff Norman

Jeff Norman has been named director of the Missouri Department of Corrections Division of Adult Institutions, effective March 27, 2020.

A member of the Department of Corrections team since 1997, Norman has served as a storekeeper at Missouri State Penitentiary (MSP) and South Central Correctional Center (SCCC); a business manager at Central Missouri Correctional Center (CMCC) and SCCC; a deputy warden at SCCC; and warden at Southeast Correctional Center (SECC), Jefferson City Correctional Center (JCCC), Boonville Correctional Center (BCC) and SCCC. He was named deputy division director of the Division of Adult Institutions in April 2019.

Normal holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice administration from Columbia College and a management certificate from Missouri State University.

Welcome to the Family


It's an exceptional person who signs up to start work on the front lines during a crisis. Fortunately, the Missouri Department of Corrections is a family of exceptional people.

While all other types of in-person training are suspended during the public health crisis, basic training continues in small groups, and graduation ceremonies are held without guests.

We're hiring and training dedicated Missourians as corrections officers, cooks and probation and parole assistants, and we're proud to welcome them to our team. 

Congratulations to the latest graduates.

Pandemic Pay

Missouri General Assembly approves pay stipend related to COVID-19 

Governor Mike Parson has recommended and the Missouri General Assembly has approved funding to provide an additional salary stipend in response to the current public health crisis. The purpose of this stipend is to incentivize staff to continue working in state facilities where there are positive COVID-19 cases. If your worksite becomes eligible for the stipend, information will be distributed from the administration at your site.

COVID-19: Department of Corrections Response


As the COVID-19 health crisis continues to evolve, the Missouri Department of Corrections is evolving with it. Here are some of the steps we’ve taken to protect staff from the virus:

  • Viral containment plan at each prison, restricting offender movement and group sizes
  • Shelter-in-place process for enhanced care units
  • Manufacture and distribution of face coverings for staff and offenders
  • Suspended volunteer and reentry partner programs
  • Suspended offender visits
  • Suspended regular offender transfers among facilities, except in extenuating circumstances
  • Enhanced offender screening on intake
  • Screening of all staff and others entering any facility or other corrections property, with temperature checks
  • Strict sanitation schedules and guidelines implemented at every prison
  • Ample cleaning supplies at every prison
  • Designated point person at each facility ensuring adherence to the sanitizing schedule and availability of soap and sanitizer
  • Around-the-clock on-site medical care at every prison
  • Training in COVID-19 preparation and response for all staff
  • COVID-19-enhanced pandemic protocols implemented at every prison
  • Testing available at every prison
  • Isolation cells, wings and units identified for use, if needed, at every prison
  • Isolation of offenders showing signs of communicable diseases
  • Flyers posted at worksites with tips on preventing the spread of communicable diseases 
  • Missouri Vocational Enterprises (MVE) hospital laundry process approved by the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council. All offenders wear protective gear and have been educated and personally instructed on handling hospital laundry safely and employing techniques to mitigate risk.

As circumstances change, the department continues to make adjustments. Please read all email messages, and check our website frequently. Updates are posted online at

Team Members Test Positive for COVID-19


Information on new cases of COVID-19 among offenders and staff will be posted on our website daily:

As of April 15, 2020, the state of Missouri had 4,686 cases of COVID-19. Unfortunately, that number includes some of our own staff.

Ten members of the Missouri Department of Corrections team have tested positive for COVID-19 at locations throughout the state. The infected staff include five from the Division of Probation & Parole, one from Missouri Vocational Enterprises, one from Central Office, and three from the Division of Adult Institutions. One of the three prison staff members had been on unrelated leave for 21 days before testing positive and did not have contact with staff or offenders. The other two prison staff members had been at work within 14 days of being tested but had no close contact with offenders. Staff with whom they had contact are in quarantine at home.

All protocols are followed to minimize exposure. Every staff member who has had close contact with a staff member testing positive for COVID-19 has been notified. Staff who have been exposed to a COVID-19-positive colleague have been sent home for 14 days of quarantine. When a staff member tests positive for COVID-19, the results are shared with people in the affected locations first, and then all staff are notified through a daily email update. 

Offenders in each facility are provided with protective face coverings and are monitored for symptoms. If symptoms appear, symptomatic offenders and their cell mates are isolated, separately, pending test results.

The department is now sending a daily update with the latest numbers of COVID-19-positive staff and offenders, with data posted on our website:

For more information on Missouri Department of Corrections COVID-19-related health and safety measures, please visit

Please respect the privacy of our team members who have tested positive for this virus, and please keep them in your thoughts and prayers for a quick recovery.

Offender Previously Diagnosed with COVID-19 Dies in Hospital

On March 4, an offender with multiple serious medical conditions was transferred from Western Missouri Correctional Center to Western Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center, where he was held in a negative-airflow isolation chamber until March 19. During that time, he did not have contact with other offenders, and staff who interacted with him used personal protective equipment. The patient was transferred to a Kansas City-area hospital for treatment of multiple medical conditions March 19. On March 23, he tested positive for COVID-19. He tested negative for COVID-19 twice the following week and continued to be treated for medical conditions in the hospital. He died in the hospital on April 2. The precise cause of death cannot be definitively determined because autopsies are not being performed on patients who have had COVID-19. Staff followed proper safety protocols for the duration of the treatment, and no one at WMCC or WRDCC has tested positive for COVID-19. 

Mental Health Resources

While protecting your physical health during the COVID-19 outbreak is essential, we also want to ensure that you're looking out for your mental health. As the situation evolves and Missourians experience stress and anxiety, the Missouri Department of Mental Health has prepared a guide to resources for managing the effects:

Stand Up and Be Counted


The 2020 Census is your chance to make sure the hard-earned tax dollars sent to the federal government make their way back to Missouri. For every adult and every child who is not counted in the census, our state will lose $1,300 in federal dollars every year. When every Missourian is counted, we get more money for roads, bridges, hospitals and schools.

Respond to the 2020 Census »

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.

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 the exceptional role corrections staff are playing in keep Missouri safe during this public health crisis.

April news

COVID-19 Preparation

Missouri Vocational Enterprises

Visiting Suspension

Giving Back


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.