Staff Newsletter | July 2020

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missouri department of corrections

Employee Newsletter   |  July 2020

Relaxing Restrictions

COVID-Free Facilities Welcome Visitors

Visiting @ Algoa

The visiting room team at Algoa Correctional Center put new safety measures in place in time for limited and restricted visiting to resume June 25.

As the department continues mass COVID-19 testing at all facilities, we're beginning a gradual return to more normal operations at locations with no cases of the virus. Thanks to the teams who worked hard to get things up and running, limited visiting is underway, with restrictions, at Algoa Correctional Center and South Central Correctional Center, Thursday through Sunday, each week. The Algoa team walked us through the new COVID-conscious process. Watch the video »

New restrictions are in place to protect health and safety:

  • Visiting rooms are at 30% capacity, and each offender’s visitor(s) are spaced apart from other visitors
  • All visitors must pass COVID-19 screening with a temperature check before entering the check-in area
  • No visitors exhibiting signs of illness 
  • Maximum of 2 visitors per offender
  • Maximum of 2 visits per month
  • Visits restricted to 2 hours in length with 45-minute break between visits to sanitize all surfaces 
  • No minors under age 18
  • Any visitor or offender with a serious underlying medical condition should refrain from visiting
  • All visitors, staff and offenders are required to wear a face cover or mask while in the visiting area
  • Face covers are inspected/searched for contraband and must be lowered when entering/exiting for identification
  • No contact between visitor and offender
  • Visitors may use beverage vending machines only, one person at at time. No drink sharing
  • No food vending, microwaves, water fountain or sink use
  • No offender on quarantine status may visit
  • No games may be checked out
  • Children’s areas remain closed
  • No pictures

Stay tuned for updates on other facilities.

Tried and Tested

Teams Unite for COVID-19 Sentinel Testing

Sentinel 1sentinel_national-guardsentinel 2

Testing thousands of Missourians for COVID-19 can be both logistically challenging and physically uncomfortable. Helping us get by, corrections professionals are taking the virus seriously while also offering some much-needed upbeat energy and moments of levity — generating everything from commemorative T-shirts to post-test cookouts.

Sentinel testing, or mass testing, of staff and offenders at all facilities has revealed some asymptomatic cases of COVID-19. However, our teams' diligent adherence to the viral containment strategy has helped to curb the virus and reduce the infection rate. Sentinel testing continues throughout July and August. For more updates on the COVID-19 situation, check out our info page and our data page

Home Grown

bcc garden

Led by staff committed to helping communities in need, Boonville Correctional Center's garden is flourishing.

In June, the restorative justice garden yielded 1,800 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables for donation to local organizations.

The bountiful harvest of strawberries, turnips, radishes, turnip greens, beets, carrots, potatoes and zucchini went to Boonville Harvest House, Boonville Senior Center, Fayette Food Pantry, River of Life Food Pantry and Prairie Home Food Pantry. Show us what how your garden grows! Send us pics and reports »

butterfly garden

The pollinator project is up and running at corrections facilities throughout the state. Through a partnership with the Missouri Department of Conservation, native plants that support Missouri bees and butterflies are popping up in locations such as Algoa Correctional Center, Southeast Correctional Center and Missouri Eastern Correctional Center

Native plants help sustain wildlife, conserve resources, and even boost the yield in our vegetable gardens.

Employees of the Month

The COVID-19 public health crisis has paused many corrections celebrations, including the department-wide Employee of the Month recognition ceremony. But the pandemic has not put the brakes of acts of awesomeness by corrections teams. We're getting back on the celebration track, with small, on-site recognition events planned for honorees. Catch up with some spring 2020 employees of the month. 

April 2020 Employee of the Month

Regina Jackson

Regina Jackson, a Corrections Case Manager II at Southeast Correctional Center, steps up when needed. When the intensive therapeutic community coordinator position was open at SECC, Jackson was happy to fill the gap. Employing smart leadership strategies, well-honed communication skills and an upbeat attitude, she equipped ITC offenders with the tools they need to help the program flourish.

Her infectious positive attitude, strong work ethic and commitment to improving lives inspire her colleagues as well as offenders.

May 2020 Employee of the Month

Tye Morgan

Tye Morgan, a sergeant at Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center, has his teammates’ backs. Recently a fellow officer was involved in a serious car accident while traveling out of state. He found himself stranded, with no transportation, more than six hours from home. Morgan didn’t even hesitate to help. He hit the road, rescued his teammate, and delivered him safely back home, talking him through the traumatic event on the way.

Morgan’s compassion, professionalism and integrity make him an asset to the corrections team.

Travis Terry Named Division Director

Travis Teerry

Travis Terry has been named director of the Division of Offender Rehabilitative Services for the Missouri Department of Corrections, effective June 3, 2020.

A member of the Department of Corrections team since 2010, Terry has served as vocational education supervisor at Algoa Correctional Center and education supervisor at Moberly Correctional Center. In 2018, he became assistant division director for the Division of Offender Rehabilitative Services and the administrator of Missouri Vocational Enterprises. 

Terry holds a bachelor's degree in business administration management from the University of Missouri.

Quality Case Planning Manual and Training Roll-Out

The Case Planning Manual has been finalized, and DOCOTA training began on June 1, 2020. Quality Case Planning is a critical step in establishing a plan of change from the moment someone enters Department of Corrections care. Developed with offender input and participation to target desired behavioral changes, the assessment-driven, detailed plan follows the offender throughout supervision, both in prison and in the community.

Drug Enforcement Through Teamwork

District 2

Eight District 2 probation and parole officers joined a team law enforcement operation in Livingston County for a pilot project combating the local drug problem. Ashley Thieme, Carol Blakely, Elizabeth Koenig, Rodney Keller, Mike O’Neal, Jared Spence, George Turner and John Nickell worked with officers from agencies such as the Chillicothe Police Department, the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office, Missouri State Highway Patrol, and the Missouri Fire Marshal’s Office to track down and contact absconders. The field work yielded multiple client contacts, home visits and other visits as well as 24 arrests for new drug charges. Several citizens were were referred for treatment services and their families were provided with information for assistance. The team approach helps to build relationships in the community and strengthen bonds with other agencies, boosting client success and community safety.

Operational Excellence

show me excellence

Last month, Corrections hosted Missouri state government’s first virtual summit focused on operational excellence (OpEx), an approach to the ongoing improvement of an organization through effective workplace problem-solving, teamwork and leadership.

Organized by the Research, Planning and Process Improvement Section, the web-based summit featured keynote addresses by Missouri Chief Operating Officer Drew Erdmann and Missouri Director for Operational Excellence Mark Waight, as well as participation from the 38 corrections team members who have achieved green belt certification through Six Sigma training. Summit topics included: OpEx project management tools with real life application examples; the department’s strategic plan placemat and dashboard; management cycles involving strategic initiatives and process improvements; team facilitation tools; WebEx tips, and why strategic change is important at all levels. Plaques were awarded to all certified green belts as a recognition of their hard work and dedication. 

A survey following the summit indicated that 100% of the respondents found the event to be valuable, very valuable or extremely valuable. Look for future summits on how we can use smart strategies to make corrections better.

New Fiscal Year, New MODOC

July 1 marks the start of fiscal year 2021. With the new year, we're tackling new plans and strategic priorities while juggling changes the public health crisis has brought to state government.

State Budget Changes

Governor Mike Parson has announced restrictions in the budget for the new fiscal year, in response to a statewide shortfall, that will have an impact on all state government agencies. Here are some of the changes that affect corrections teams and operations:
In the Department of Corrections, the current plan includes no layoffsno furloughs and no pay decreases. While hiring restrictions will continue in some job classes in the department, we are still actively recruiting and hiring corrections officers, cooks, probation and parole assistants, and probation and parole officers.
Recent decreases in the statewide offender population have made it possible to cut operating costs in adult institutions. While we will continue providing excellent programs and services, housing and feeding fewer people means spending less money. A reduction in offender food costs is expected to save $1.9 million. Consolidation of housing units, a process already underway, will save about $3.1 million.  
Across state government, all teams are expected to cut back on travel, equipment and other supplies. These cuts affect all state agencies. For corrections, the restrictions reduce our budget by about $5.4 million. Likewise, all state teams will see a $.06 decrease in the rate of mileage reimbursement for work-related use of a personal vehicle, a change that will cut about $76,760 from the corrections budget.

More on budget restrictions » 

Strategic Plan Updates

In in the new fiscal year the department continues its focus on three key areas: a safer work environment, improving the workforce, and reducing risk and recidivism.

Some of last year's strategic initiatives supporting these themes will continue in the new year, and more are being launched. Major staff-focused initiatives include transformation of the Training and Staff Development Academy, redevelopment of the staff intranet website, implementation of new onboarding procedures and installation of an automated timekeeping system. 

Take a look at the most recent strategic plan, and stay tuned for FY21 updates.

Better Living Through MO Learning


We all know MO Learning, powered by LinkedIn Learning, as a great tool for job training and professional development. 

Did you know this free resource for staff also can help you manage stress and find more happiness?

During the month of July, the Staff Training and Development team encourages you to to take the "Explode into Knowledge" challenge. Take five minutes per day to complete a short video or task designed for your personal growth. If you complete these daily activities, you will be two-thirds through the Mindfulness Practices course by the end of July.

Get started »

Getting Support

crisis text line

During a stressful time in a stressful job, it's essential that you take care of your mental health.

The Emergency Responder Crisis Text Line can help.

Just text "BADGE" to 741741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

This service is free and confidential.

Counselors are available 24/7.

COVID-19: Department of Corrections Response


Missouri Department of Corrections in the News

Your great work is making headlines. Check out news media coverage of the exceptional role corrections teams are playing in keep Missouri safe.

News - July


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.