Staff Newsletter | February 2021

View as a webpage

missouri department of corrections

Employee Newsletter   |  February 2021

MO Money for State Workers

Governor Proposes Pay Increase for Corrections Staff

State of the State 2021

In his 2021 State of the State address Jan. 27, Governor Mike Parson recommended a 2% pay increase for all Missouri state government employees, plus an additional salary increase for some Department of Corrections jobs with high turnover rates.

The Governor’s proposal includes:

  • 2% pay increase for all state government employees
  • 4% pay increase for food service workers in Cook I-III positions (2% cost-of-living increase plus additional 2% increase)
  • 5% pay increase for corrections officers, sergeants and lieutenants in CO I-III positions (2% cost-of-living increase plus additional 3% increase)

If approved by the Missouri General Assembly, this pay raise will bring the total amount of funds invested in corrections pay increases over the last four years to nearly $68 million.

  • In July 2018, custody staff received a $350 annual pay increase.
  • In January 2019, all state employees received a $700 annual pay increase.
  • In January 2020, all corrections staff received a cost-of-living pay increase plus a retention pay increase based on years of service, resulting in 3% - 13.3% pay increases for corrections staff. This $38 million pay plan marked the biggest pay increase in the history of the department.
  • In January 2021, the Governor proposed a plan that would give corrections staff a 2% - 5% pay increase.

COVID Updates

Corrections Staff Get the Vax!


On Jan. 14, the State of Missouri activated Phase 1B-Tier 1 of the COVID-19 vaccination plan, making all Missouri Department of Corrections staff eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. While a sufficient supply of vaccine for all Missourians in Phase 1B is not yet available, pharmacies and health care providers throughout the state are gradually receiving vaccine shipments, and some members of the corrections team already have received a first dose.

Corrections staff can get vaccinated by making an appointment with a local vaccinator (check this map) or by attending a worksite vaccination event. Vaccination events for corrections teams are being planned throughout the state all month, with support from the Missouri Department of Mental Health, area pharmacies and other partners. Check with your worksite chief administrative officer to find one near you.

Remember that both the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine require two doses to be effective; an appointment for the second dose will be scheduled when you receive the first dose.

What should you do in the meantime?


jccc vaccine

Flexibility is essential as the vaccine rollout continues. Vaccine doses can arrive on short notice, and other agencies may contact corrections to share extra doses.

Last week, 70 members of the Jefferson City Correctional Center team received their first dose, thanks to the Cole County Health Department and Cole County Emergency Medical Services.


Have these documents ready for the next planned or unplanned vaccination opportunity:

  • Completed consent form (PDF or Word)
  • Photocopy of your Department of Corrections ID
  • Photocopy of your medical insurance card


Kimberly Thomas

Make an educated decision about the COVID-19 vaccine. Watch the video presentation by Dr. Kimberly Thomas to better understand how the vaccine works, how it was developed and what you can expect when you get vaccinated.

Visit the the website frequently for the latest information on vaccination locations, vaccine data and priority phases. Be sure to check out the facts page to help you better separate fact from myth.

Offender Vaccinations

Phase 1B - Tier 2 of the vaccination plan was activated Monday, Jan. 18. Tier-2-eligible Missourians are those who are age 65 or older or who have medical conditions such as cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, heart conditions, weakened immune system due to organ transplant, severe obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, Type 2 diabetes, or intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. This phase includes more than 8,000 offenders, or more than one-third of the offender population. All of our adult institutions have been approved as vaccinators, and Corizon staff will be ready to administer the vaccine when a supply becomes available. To ensure that eligible offenders make informed decisions, we have made Dr. Kimberly Thomas's video available on internal TV stations and have sent vaccination FAQs to all offenders through JPay tablets.

COVID-19 Case Numbers Plummet


The first week in December, the department began implementation of two COVID-killing systems that help create a safer environment in MODOC buildings. Maintenance staff installed more than 1,400 iWave ionization generator air purifying devices in air handling systems, where they destroy COVID and other viruses as well as bacteria, allergens and pollutants. All worksites also began regular use of electrostatic disinfectant sprayers with vital oxide disinfectant in the common areas inside prisons and other facilities.

Eight weeks later, the number of offender COVID cases has dropped by 83%. Statewide, COVID now affects about 0.3% of the offender population, and staff cases are down to double-digit numbers.

The gadgets can't take all the credit. Staff diligence in following safety protocols, masking up and staying home when sick has helped to protect our teams, our families and our communities and has made our worksites safer. Your commitment to safety makes a big difference.

Corrections on the Air

Recruitment Ad Campaign Targets Frontline Facility Staff

Boonville Correctional Center staff

A media campaign underway aims to attract new members to the corrections team, with an emphasis on corrections officers and cooks. Featuring current staff, a TV commercial and a radio commercial now airing in local markets aim to underscore the particular qualities that make corrections staff good at their jobs, such as strength, courage and dedication. Big thanks to our Boonville Correctional Center models and Central Office voiceover actors.

Support the department's hiring efforts by referring someone you know. Current staff who are not in recruiting roles can earn up to $500 for a successful corrections officer or cook referral. Incentive program details here »

Emerging Leaders

The most recent class of State of Missouri Leadership Academy forward thinkers presented their capstone projects to cabinet members Feb. 2. Academy participants work in interagency teams to collaborate on proposals for projects, processes and other innovations that can make government work better. Four Missouri Department of Corrections superstars rose to the top of the class.

Kim Hubbard-Stewart

Kimberly Hubbard-Stewart and her team presented a project titled “High School Students Today, State Employees Tomorrow!” that outlines state worker recruitment strategies. Hubbard-Stewart, regional administrator for the Probation & Parole Western Region, has more than 22 years of experience building expertise in development and administration of corrections programs, policies, procedures, partnerships, resources, budgets and contracts.

Vince Rost


Vince Rost and his team presented “Missouri Leadership 2.0.” A corrections staff member for seven years, Rost is district administrator for Probation & Parole District 27, serving Cole, Moniteau and Osage Counties, where he manages resources and programs designed to help clients become more productive Missouri citizens. Before joining the department, Rost served in the United States Navy for 20 years.

Mike Strong


Mike Strong and his team delved into the benefits of knowledge sharing with the project “Cross-Departmental Externships.” A 21-year veteran of the Department of Corrections, Strong serves as facilities director in Central Office, where he manages the department’s capital improvement projects and six-year capital improvement plan while leading the Construction Unit team, the Heavy Equipment/Construction crew and the Cook Chill Maintenance team.

Craig Crane

Algoa Correctional Center Major Craig Crane
partnered with academy participants representing six different agencies, including former corrections staff, on the project “People Before Process.”

Crane joined the department 12 years ago as a Corrections Officer I and has risen through the ranks to become chief of custody.

January 2021 Employee of the Month

Debra White

Debra White, a senior office support assistant at Maryville Treatment Center, uses her eagle eye to help keep Missourians safe. While processing incoming mail, White noticed a suspicious-looking envelope. Initial inspection showed the enclosed sympathy card was unsigned, and further investigation indicated the intended recipient had not recently lost a family member. White took a closer look and found contraband. Her keen observation skills helped keep a dangerous substance out of a state facility, creating a safer environment.

New Year, New Look

Honor Guard Uniforms Highlight Professionalism

Honor Guard

New Missouri Department of Corrections Honor Guard uniforms create a polished and cohesive look for the elite group. Honor Guard members are selected to represent the department and the state at ceremonies throughout the U.S. To better serve the needs of the state, over the past year the Honor Guard has expanded into four regional teams Eastern, North Central, South Central and Western while also fine-tuning its image.

Building Better Dads

Inside Out Dads - Kennet

To help men on probation and parole connect with their kids, the Kennett Community Supervision Center has launched an InsideOut Dads program. Led by Missouri Bootheel Regional Consortium Re-Entry Program Coordinator Mark Bartlett, the class meets weekly to discuss parental responsibilities, employment, housing and other topics affecting clients' children.

Widely used in Missouri prison reentry programs, the evidence-based InsideOut Dads guides fathers involved in the criminal justice system in developing pro-fathering attitudes, knowledge and skills.

Eight Staff Members Assaulted in Attack

At approximately 5:46 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26, a group of offenders returning to a housing unit at Southeast Correctional Center after the evening meal severely assaulted eight staff members during an attack that lasted approximately 10 minutes. The 13 offenders suspected of involvement in the assault were placed in administrative segregation and will be referred for prosecution. The facility was placed in lockdown. Corrections Emergency Response Teams (CERT) from multiple institutions responded to the disturbance and remain on site. Seven staff members were treated at local hospitals for injuries, and six were released. One was admitted to an area hospital for observation. Thank you to CERT members and staff from other locations who have helped to keep the facility secure and operational since the attack.

A Year of PRIN

The Prison Research Innovation Network Project Evolves in Moberly


One year after its launch, The Prison Research Innovation Network (PRIN) project continues to make progress at Moberly Correctional Center (MCC). So far, University of Missouri (MU) researchers have interviewed 58 staff in more than 15 different roles at MCC and have received 84 completed questionnaires from offenders. The next step for the project is to build a survey based on those responses and to analyze the results. PRIN participants look forward to hearing feedback from stakeholders and using this data to help improve lives for safer communities.

See what staff had to say about their work environment. Watch the MU researchers' video summary on YouTube, or read the January PRIN newsletter.

Missouri is one of five states chosen by the Urban Institute and Arnold Ventures to pursue a new evidence-based approach to prison reform, with each state awarded a $100,000 grant for researching and improving prison culture. PRIN launched in 2020, with MCC as Missouri’s pilot site and the MU School of Social Work as a partner leading evidence-based research through staff and offender interviews, focus groups, and climate surveys.

Strategic Plan

Stratetic Plan - February 2021

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.

Training & Development


ENGAGE 2.0 Training

New ENGAGE 2.0 trainings are available in MO Learning. All team members who have not already completed ENGAGE 2.0 training must complete these requirements. 

Training Academy Newsletter

Check out Training Academy Corner, a monthly newsletter of the Missouri Department of Corrections Training Academy, to meet new trainers and stay up to date on training requirements and course offerings. 


Self-Care in the New Year


The Department of Corrections is investing in your wellness with a FREE annual subscription to Pause First Academy. Created for first responders by first responders, Pause First Academy focuses on the wellbeing of professionals in corrections, law enforcement, the military, social work and related fields. You can take courses on subjects such as resiliency, mindfulness, yoga, nutrition, surviving the holidays and more. Complete the courses online at your own pace, or take part in live courses. New content is available each month.

Some courses are eligible for elective training credits — an added perk!

More than 700 team members have enrolled so far.

To enroll, send a request to

Once your request has been received, you will receive an email with a link and enrollment instructions from You do not need to set up a new account through the website, and you do not need to pay for your account.

Enrolling in Pause First Academy is not mandatory; it's an optional self-care resource for all MODOC staff.

Free Crisis Counseling

Show Me Hope

Show Me Hope crisis counseling program provides free, multilingual, and confidential support to anyone experiencing stress in response to COVID-19. By calling or texting the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990, you can speak with a crisis counselor 24/7. You’re not alone. There is Hope. Visit


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

Be a Better Listener


We're working hard to recruit and retain staff and to make our department a great place to work. Actively listening to coworkers helps create a safer and more welcoming environment. 


  • Be attentive and focused.
  • Ask questions, and get clarification.
  • Demonstrate your understanding by summarizing and repeating back what has been said.