Staff Newsletter | July-August 2021

View as a webpage

missouri department of corrections

Employee Newsletter   |  July-August 2021

State Launches Vaccination Incentive

Get a COVID Vaccine for Chance to Win $10,000


Governor Mike Parson has announced an incentive program for Missouri residents who get vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccinated Missourians have the chance to win a $10,000 cash prize or, for teens, a $10,000 education savings account.

Eligible Missourians fall into one of three categories: adults vaccinated before July 21, 2021; adults vaccinated on or after July 21, 2021; or kids ages 12-17 vaccinated at any time. Five drawings administered by the Missouri Lottery will be held very two weeks between Aug. 13 and Oct. 8, with 180 winners selected randomly at each drawing.

Learn more »

Honoring a Hero

Jefferson City Officer Earns Medal of Valor

Medal of Valor - Akins

Jefferson City Correctional Center Warden Doris Falkenrath and Officer Oluropo Akins.

Officer Oluropo Akins from Jefferson City Correctional Center has earned the department’s Medal of Valor for his act of heroism in protecting a teammate.

medal of valor - akins - admin

Akins was nearby when an offender at Jefferson City Correctional Center assaulted Lt. Dustin Layton. The offender struck Layton, seized and used his pepper spray, and was reaching for a homemade weapon in his waistband when Akins intervened, radioed for help, and gained control of the offender. His quick action, courage and professionalism saved the lieutenant from serious injury.


Grow the Family

Welcoming & Keeping Staff

When it comes to our statewide staffing situation, the tide is turning. Right now more staff are joining the Missouri Department of Corrections than are leaving. Our goal is to build on this progress. Here are a few things we're working on:

  • Employment applications are now being accepted and processed in the simpler, streamlined program ApplicantPro.
  • A new ad campaign underway through Learfield Communications features video, audio, digital and print ads across multiple media platforms throughout the state. Keep an eye out for your teammates!
  • A booth at the Missouri State Fair Aug. 12-21 will be dedicated to attracting new corrections staff. Prospective staff can meet the recruiting team and apply on site.
  • Expanded partnerships with local chambers of commerce and job centers are boosting our visibility and extending our reach.
  • Our presence at career fairs and hiring events held throughout the state gives recruiters face-to-face contact with job seekers.
  • Individual facilities are trying out creative recruitment strategies — everything from TikTok videos and pool parties to vehicle magnets and walking sandwich board displays.

Recruitment Incentive Program Gives Staff Up to $1,000 for Referrals

Changes to the incentive program for referrals of correctional officer and food service worker (cook) new hires are in effect. Now it’s easier and faster to complete the process, and you can earn up to $1,000 per referral. This program is open to all corrections staff except those designated as Missouri Department of Corrections recruiters or staff representing MODOC at recruiting events.

  • A one-time payment of $250 will be added to the referring staff member’s semi-monthly salary after each applicant referred by the staff member has been hired and has successfully completed basic training. The staff member’s salary returns to the normal rate of pay after one pay cycle.
  • An additional one-time payment of $750 will be added to the referring staff member’s semi-monthly salary when each referred applicant has reached six months of employment with the department. The staff member’s salary returns to the normal rate of pay after one pay cycle.
  • Refer a new hire, and complete the Incentive Program form for corrections officers or cooks.
  • Referrals who are not hired within six months of receipt of the referral form will no longer be tracked or considered for the incentive program.

Learn more »

Total Compensation Plan

The Rising Value of a Corrections Career

Dwight - benefits

A new corrections staff pay raise has gone into effect, bringing the amount of money invested in pay increases for our team over the last four years to $84 million. When you work with us, you get much more than a paycheck, though. The Department of Corrections looks out for team members and their families, investing not just in salaries but also in health and wellness, education, retirement, and opportunities for personal and professional growth. Find out what a corrections job is really worth. Watch this video »

Get Outside!

Spend Time Outdoors. Win Prizes.

Outdoor More

Through Oct. 15, the department is sponsoring a staff wellness challenge that boosts mental and physical health while providing a chance to win prizes. Here's how it works:

Step 1. Have fun outside. 

Any outdoor recreational activity counts! Some examples include walking, biking, gardening, fishing, golfing, hiking and swimming.

Step 2. Track hours spent outside July 15 to October 15.

Use a tracking method that works for you: notepad, FitBit, mobile app, etc. Record the date, type of outdoor activity, and number of hours. The top contenders will be asked to submit their activity logs/trackers to Wellness Coordinator Caitlin Rudolph for verification at the end of the challenge. 

Step 3. Submit a completed Web Focus Form each month.

Participants will receive an email with a link to the Web Focus Form on Aug. 16, Sept. 15 and Oct. 15. Complete and submit the form showing the preceding month's tracked activity hours. Each form will be available for one week. Watch for the GovDelivery email!

Step 4. Win.

The top three participants with verified tracked activity hours win prizes. The first-place winner gets dibs on selecting a prize bundle, followed by second-place and third-place winners. Winners will be announced by Oct. 25.


BBQ for 2     Kayaking for 2     Camping for 2

Keep Your Handbook Handy

Employee Handbook Cover

A revised version of the Missouri Department of Corrections employee handbook, titled “Heroes Handbook: A Guide to Your Career,” has been published.

Download the handbook from the department's website, or access it through the intranet under “Administrative Links.”

The handbook serves as a convenient reference tool to some of the more important department policies and procedures related to employment, but it is not intended to be all-inclusive.

Please review the handbook at your earliest convenience. As a staff member of the Missouri Department of Corrections, you are expected to be familiar with its contents.

Kansas City Evolution


The facility known as the Kansas City Reentry Center (KCRC), a minimum-security prison in the Division of Adult Institutions, has re-joined the Division of Probation & Parole as the Transition Center of Kansas City. The new center is expected to be fully operational by early 2022. While the transition is underway, no Missourians in MODOC custody or under MODOC supervision will be housed at the facility.

June 2021 Employee of the Month


Sarah Morris, a functional unit manager at Western Missouri Correctional Center (WMCC) in Cameron, keeps protective custody running like clockwork.

While working as a case manager, Morris played a vital role in the structuring and startup of the protective custody unit (PCU) at WMCC. Since its launch, she has contributed to the successful operation of the unit by establishing timely housing-needs assessments, conducting thorough protective custody committee preparation, streamlining enemy transfer processes, and coordinating effective cross-departmental collaboration that helps offenders access the services they need. She even started a Restorative Justice project in which protective custody offenders crochet fidget blankets for Alzheimer’s patients. Her commitment and professionalism help boost both safety and rehabilitation at WMCC.

July 2021 Employee of the Month

EOM Whitney Edwards

Whitney Edwards, a functional unit manager at Western Missouri Correctional Center (WMCC) in Cameron, uses her keen observation skills to keep dangerous contraband out of correctional centers.

After helping to restrain offenders involved in a fight outside a housing unit, Edwards investigated the situation further, noting suspicious activity, reviewing surveillance footage and requesting searches. Her scrutiny led to the seizure of contraband including multiple cell phones and homemade weapons. Edwards’ attention to detail helps protect the security and safety of the facility as well as the Missourians who work and live there.

Cultivating Leaders

Four Corrections Team Members Graduate from Leadership Academy


The newly graduated spring 2021 State of Missouri Leadership Academy class includes four corrections rising stars: Recruitment Coordinator Rebecca Riley, Division of Offender Rehabilitative Services Assistant Director Annie Herman, Mental Health Contract Monitor Tanya Douleh, Ph.D., and Probation & Parole Southeast Regional Administrator Don Arias. Working in cross-agency teams, the participants completed and presented to the Governor's cabinet capstone projects on topics such as breaking the stigma of mental illness, taking innovative approaches to staff recruitment, alleviating chronic vacancies, managing distributed teams, and developing a culture of problem solving and critical thinking in the workplace. See the presentations »

The fall 2021 Leadership Academy class includes two Department of Corrections team members: Chief of Fiscal Management Gil Long and Transition Center of Kansas City Associate Superintendent Spencer Colliatie.

Honor & Duty

Honor Guard Takes Part in National Conference

honor guard

The Western Honor Guard represented the Missouri Department of Corrections this summer at the Correctional Peace Officers (CPO) Foundation annual conference.

honor guard -group

CPOF works to preserve and support the surviving families of correctional officers who lose their lives in the line of duty, providing services such as a scholarship program and a catastrophic assistance program. The annual gathering of CPOF members includes educational seminars, family activities, and a ceremony honoring fallen officers.

Director's Cup Fundraiser

directors cup

The Director's Cup Golf Tournament will be held Aug. 20 at the Tanglewood Golf Course in Fulton. The fundraiser benefits the Missouri 10-33 Benevolent Fund, which provides support and assistance to the families of public safety officers who have died in the line of duty. Over the course of an 18-year partnership, the Missouri Department of Corrections has contributed more than $200,000 to the benevolent fund. Staff are invited to participate as players, sponsors or fundraisers. Register now »

Top Trainees

training coin

Three new officers have been awarded the Director of Staff Training & Development Coin of Excellence. Honorees were nominated by peers and selected by staff for demonstrating a high standard of excellence during training in areas including attendance, appearance, class conduct, class participation and test scores. Missouri Eastern Correctional Center Officer Jackson Pulley was selected by the Eastern Region Training Center. Transition Center of Kansas City Officer Darrell Wren was selected by the Western Region Training Center. Moberly Correctional Center Officer Adam Gregory was selected by the Central Region Training Center.

Training Summit

wellness presenters

The Training Academy held its first summit this summer for training administrators, trainers and support staff from all regions. The summit included team-building activities, Probation & Parole firearms training simulations, and presentations on topics such as wellness, teamwork and virtual instructor-led training.

Learn more about the summit and get training updates in the Training Academy Corner. Read the newsletter »

Administrator Updates

Webber, Herman, Sturm Take New Positions

Cybelle Webber has been named warden of Ozark Correctional Center (OCC). Webber joined the department in 1998 as a Boonville Correctional Center correctional services trainee. She has served as a Probation and Parole Officer I, II and III; a district administrator; and a deputy warden at both Women's Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center and Tipton Correctional Center. She holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice administration.

Annie Herman has been named assistant director of the Division of Offender Rehabilitative Services, overseeing reentry services and offender education programs. Herman joined the department in 2008 as a case manager at Algoa Correctional Center. She has served as a functional unit manager, a reentry coordinator, an employee relations specialist and Division of Adult Institutions assistant director of program services.

Vevia Sturm has been named deputy director of the Division of Adult Institutions. Sturm joined the department in 1997 as a case manager. She became a special investigator with the Department of Mental Health from 2000 to 2005 before rejoining MODOC, where she has served as a reentry coordinator and Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Unit manager. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology.

New Board Members

Nasheed, Atkins Appointed to Parole Board

Governor Mike Parson has appointed two Missourians to interim terms on the Missouri Parole Board: Jamilah Nasheed and Bryan Atkins. Their terms began July 1.


Nasheed, a Democrat from St. Louis, served for 14 years in the Missouri General Assembly. She represented the 60th district in the Missouri House of Representatives from 2007 to 2013 and represented the 5th district in the Missouri Senate from 2013 to January 2021. In addition to staunchly supporting education, she has advocated for changes to the expungement process and for restoration of voting rights for some Missourians  on probation or parole. She has served on the Committee on Corrections, the Urban Issues Committee and the Urban League Anti-crime Initiative.


Atkins, a Republican from Andrew County, served as the Andrew County sheriff from 2009 to 2020. He also has served as a member of the Missouri Air National Guard, rising to the rank of master sergeant. He is certified by the Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission, holds certification from the U.S. Air Force Basic Military Training and Crash Rescue Fire School, and graduated from the Missouri State Highway Patrol Academy.

Leading Women


Congratulations to District 1 Probation and Parole Officer Katie Buehlman, who was nominated for the YWCA Women of Excellence Award in the category “Woman in the Workplace.” Buehlman works diligently with Catholic Charities to help clients in northeast counties secure help with finances, food and housing. She supervises probation and parole clients in Atchison and Nodaway counties.

Garden Glory

Restorative Justice Food Programs Flourish

garden collage

Restorative Justice program leaders and their teams are hard at work growing and harvesting fresh vegetables and fruits for donation to food banks and other nonprofit organizations throughout the state. Last year Missouri Department of Corrections prison gardens yielded more than 36 tons of fresh produce to help feed hungry Missourians. How does your garden grow? Send photos and donation updates to

Remaking History

Maryville Treatment Center Restores Historic Convent Model


Under the guidance of Correctional Case Manager Bryce Buholt, participants in the Restorative Justice program at Maryville Treatment Center have invested 120 hours in painstakingly restoring a model of the Mount Alverno Convent, which was built in 1958 for Mother Vincentia by JJ Kraker and Son. The model is displayed for the community at the Nodaway County Historical Society.

Spreading the Warmth

South Central Quilting Program Gains National Attention

sccc quilt

Under the direction of Case Manager Joe Satterfield, offenders in the Restorative Justice program at South Central Correctional Center are sewing a personalized quilt for every foster child in Texas County. Their work recently was highlighted by St. Louis Public Radio. The piece received national and international attention and led to an influx of fabric donations from throughout the country. Check out the St. Louis Public Radio story »

Raising the Roof

Tremco Partnership Trains Offenders for Construction Jobs


With support from the department's Reentry Unit, training has begun at Western Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center in St. Joseph for the first class of students to take part in a new vocational education program in partnership with Tremco Commercial Sealants & Waterproofing. Through live stream, in-person and tablet-based lessons, offender-students learn roofing and waterproofing skills to prepare them for jobs after release — while helping to build a skilled workforce for Missouri employers.

Smoother Transitions

Transition Center, Urban League Join Forces

urban league

The Transition Center of St. Louis has partnered with the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis on a program that helps men in the criminal justice system develop life skills, job skills and interpersonal skills that build success. Through the Save our Sons program, participants build self-awareness and confidence while also gaining a better understanding of current workforce demands.

Strategic Plan

FY 22 Strategic Plan

The state’s business cycle runs on a fiscal year timeframe, this year from July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022 (FY2022). Each year we articulate our priorities to support better government in Missouri through our strategic plan. In fiscal year 2022, our mission and our goals remain constant, but our strategic initiatives continue to evolve. We are building on past years' success and adding new priorities.

Take a look at our strategic plan and initiatives for fiscal year 2022.


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

Build Trust on Your Team


We're working hard to retain staff and to make the Missouri Department of Corrections a great place to work. An essential part being effective in our day-to-day work is cultivating trust among teammates.


  • Be honest and supportive with coworkers.
  • Respect privacy and confidentiality.
  • Communicate openly and directly.
  • Ask for help, and offer help.