Family and Friends Newsletter-December 2020

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missouri department of corrections

Family and Friends Newsletter | December 2020

Merry Christmas

DOC Central Office

From our Corrections family to you and your family, please accept our well wishes for a safe, healthy and joyous Christmas.

Stay Connected during the Holidays

Writing Christmas Card

It is important for offenders to stay connected to their loved ones, especially during the holidays, and in the midst of a global pandemic.  Offenders can communicate with their loved ones through mail, email or telephone.  

To help offenders stay connected to their loved ones, JPay continues to provide eight free email stamps to each offender each month and is continuing their current promotion of "Free Reply Wednesday".  

Additionally, Securus is providing each offender two free phone calls each week. 

If you are inclined to send your loved one a Christmas letter or card, keep the mail rules in mind and allow plenty of time for delivery. 

No doubt your loved one will appreciate the communication, no matter how it is received.

COVID-Killing Technologies Enter State Prisons: Adding to the Viral Containment Strategy


Implementation of three technological innovations in the Missouri Department of Corrections aims to cut COVID-19 infection rates in Missouri state prisons and other facilities. These strategies:

  • Kill the virus in the air
  • Kill the virus on surfaces
  • Detect the virus in wastewater

The department now has ionization generators — air purifying devices that, when installed in air handling systems, destroy 99.4% of COVID-19 within 30 minutes. Using needlepoint ionization, the devices also kill other viruses, bacteria, mold, allergens and pollutants, reducing health risks for people living and working in prisons. More than 1,468 units soon will be in use at all prisons, community supervision centers, the Transition Center of St. Louis, and other state-owned facilities. Installation is underway.

The department is procuring electrostatic disinfectant sprayers with vital oxide disinfectant. This cleaning system instantly covers surfaces with a fine disinfecting mist, killing COVID-19 and other pathogens on contact. Corrections offices and the common areas inside prisons and other facilities will be treated with this system on a regular schedule, supplementing the aggressive cleaning regimen already in place. Probation and Parole districts have 20 sprayers, and 20 more are on their way to adult institutions.

The department began monitoring wastewater for COVID-19 in July, in partnership with the Department of Natural Resources and the University of Missouri. This process detects the virus in human waste and signals where asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic infections might be starting, informing the use of COVID-19 testing strategies such as sample testing and boxed-in testing. MODOC has installed composite samplers at all sites and now conducts its own wastewater testing and uses the data collected to help identify and isolate infected people, slowing the spread of the virus.

While the number of active COVID-19 cases in Missouri state prisons is rapidly declining, the virus continues to pose a risk to Missourians living and working in correctional facilities, as well as in the community.

Missouri was among the first states to take vital steps toward stopping the spread of COVID-19 in prisons, including suspension of visiting, regular transfers and programs that bring in volunteers and reentry partners. Missouri has the most aggressive COVID-19 testing strategy of all departments of corrections in the United States and has conducted more than 72,000 tests to date. A viral containment strategy implemented long before the first case hit Missouri prisons limits the number of people with whom each staff member and offender has contact, helping to contain the virus. Missouri Vocational Enterprises began manufacturing face covers, hand sanitizer and protective gowns in early spring and continues to produce these products for use by corrections as well as other state agencies and nonprofit groups.

Other viral-containment steps include: restricted offender movement; limited group sizes; use of video and tablets for educational and religious programming; screening of all staff and others entering any facility, with temperature checks; strict sanitation schedules and guidelines; ample cleaning supplies at every prison; a designated point person at each facility to ensure 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; isolation cells, wings and units at every prison; quarantine strategies for offenders and staff; and shelter-in-place and testing processes for enhanced care units.

Despite the Pandemic, Offenders Carry on the Spirit of Giving this Holiday Season

Christmas 2020

Toys from Boonville Correctional Center were donated to the "Toys for Tots" program and 100 tie blankets were made for a local children's food pantry and local law enforcement.

A dozen quilts were made and donated from Chillicothe Correctional Center to the "No More Black Trash Bags" project for children in foster care emergency situations

Quilts were donated to the Rainbow House from Jefferson City Correctional Center.

Northeast Correctional Center donated 1200 crocheted hats to local schools. They also donated 50 wooden toys, 18 wash clothes, 67 hats, 33 matching hat/scarf combos and 50 face masks to a local church to make Christmas boxes for children.