PRIN January Newsletter

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PRIN  - Prison Research Innovation Network, Moberly Correctional Center

Quarterly Update | January 2021

What's new?

Moberly Correctional Center completed one year with PRIN!!!

Happy New Year

A Year In Review with MU

MU A year in review

-Dr. Kelli Canada and the MU team

We Heard Our Staff

Click Here

MU provided an informational video summary of their findings and how those findings will translate into a staff survey.

MU Staff 1MU Staff 2


"I'm not an officer but I do make a difference in my own way. There's not a position here that you don't make a difference... Here, every job is important and you feel like your job is important. If you take that piece of the puzzle away, the rest of the puzzle really can't be put together."- MCC Staff

"I can go home and tell my kids that I did something that I made a difference today.... I'm making a difference not just for myself but for the future of my children and all of our society. And that I made a difference in these guys' lives."- MCC Staff

"Everybody is kind of a family. One big family unit."- MCC Staff

We Heard Our Incarcerated Population

"The research team initially planned to interview approximately 70 people incarcerated in MCC as a first step in developing the survey, similar to the process we did with staff. The MCC PRIN manager passed out information about these interviews and maintains a list of people who volunteered to interview with us. Due to Covid-19 and the subsequent risks involved with interviewing the incarcerated population, the research team decided to administer a paper questionnaire to the volunteers as a first step in engagement.

Everyone on the volunteer list was given an opportunity to complete the questionnaire (149 people). We had a 56% response rate and received 84 completed questionnaires. Volunteers answered questions about their experience at MCC with programming and staff, factors that make them feel more or less safe, interactions with other people living in MCC, and how they managed COVID-19. As with the staff interviews, we will use these data to inform our survey development.

We plan to resume plans to interview people virtually in early 2021 pending staff and incarcerated population safety is not compromised."  - Dr. Kelli Canada and the MU Research Team


Moving right along!

The MCC staff has gone above and beyond to make this project possible. Our researchers have not been permitted to travel since March of 2020, meaning all of the data gathering has fallen on our staff. I am grateful for their dedication to PRIN!  Onward we go!!!

                                                                           -Dana Plunkett, PRIN Manager

Dana Plunkett



  • January – MDOC and MCC joined PRIN
  • February – Kick-Off at MCC
  • March – MU research partners began staff interviews
  • April – Staff interviews continued
  • May – Staff interviews continued
  • June – Staff interviews completed
  • July – Hired PRIN Manager
  • August – Executive Committee Kick-Off
  • September - Completed incarcerated volunteer interviewee selection
  • October - Launched newsletter
  • November - MU presented initial staff research findings, we welcomed Michael Eanes, a prior incarcerated individual, to the Executive Committee
  • December - Conducted incarcerated individual questionnaires


  • January - MU provided annual PRIN Report, began incarcerated individual interviews via Zoom, attended PRIN Community of Practice Zoom meeting with the other four participating states

Next Steps

  • February - Survey distribution to staff and incarcerated population, continue incarcerated individual interviews
  • March - Analyze survey findings



about us

What is PRIN?

In 2017, Missouri Department of Corrections had the eighth highest incarceration rate and the largest growing women’s population in the nation. When Arnold Ventures partnered with the Urban Institute to pursue a new evidence-based approach to prison reform, the Missouri Department of Corrections saw a great opportunity and applied for the grant.

Missouri, along with Colorado, Delaware, Iowa, and Vermont were chosen to work with the Urban Institute and the respective research partners, creating the Prison Research Innovation Network. The purpose of PRIN is to create a more rehabilitative and humane prison environment. Each state was awarded a grant of $100,000 by the Urban Institute, funded by Arnold Ventures to use in the interest in researching and improving prison culture.

The Moberly Correctional Center is the pilot prison for the PRIN project. MCC has a history of strong therapeutic rehabilitation and forward-thinking programs so it was a natural fit for the project. Some of these programs include, Puppies for Parole, Therapeutic Communities, Show-Me Living Project, Transitional Housing Units, Veteran’s Wing, Restorative Justice and Pay It Forward. The University of Missouri School of Social Work has partnered with us to lead the evidence-based research by collecting data through staff and offender interviews, focus groups, and climate surveys.

MCC, MU, and the Urban Institute conduct the daily operations of the PRIN project, with oversight from the PRIN Executive Committee. The Executive Committee includes leadership from the governor and attorney general’s offices, DOC leadership, relevant legislative leadership, and representation of current and/or formerly incarcerated individuals.

Meet the Team

Meet the PRIN team