Staff Newsletter | September 2021

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missouri department of corrections

Employee Newsletter   |  September 2021

Honoring a Hero

Chillicothe Officer Earns Award of Valor


Correctional Officer I Rodney Buttz was assigned to hospital duty last fall, guarding an offender who was receiving medical treatment. While in the hospital room, the offender attacked Buttz, striking him in the head with a weapon multiple times and then seizing the officer’s car keys and fleeing the room.

Although seriously injured, Buttz pursued the offender through the hospital and regained contact in a restroom, where the offender fought with Buttz and then attempted to climb into the ceiling. Buttz was able to secure the offender with the help of hospital security who arrived on the scene. He was then treated for his head injury, which required 10 staples.

His act of bravery helped protect the safety of hospital patients and staff as well as the surrounding community. In recognition of his heroism, Director Anne Precythe has presented Officer Buttz with the Director's Award of Valor.


Farmington Officer Among First Round of MO VIP Winners

Ann Basila

For Farmington Correctional Center (FCC) Correctional Officer I Ann Basila, the decision to get vaccinated against COVID-19 has paid off in more ways than one. Basila is a $10,000 winner in the MO VIP vaccine incentive program — one of 180 winners in the first of five drawings rewarding Missourians who have been fully vaccinated. Her name was randomly selected by the Missouri Lottery from 495,296 entries. All first-round winners were announced Aug. 25, with the next round announced Wednesday, Sept. 8.

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 are held every two weeks between Aug. 13 and Oct. 8, with 180 winners selected randomly at each drawing. New entries are accepted before each drawing.

Learn more »

District 29 Officer Wins First Lady's Pie Contest

Pie contest

District 29 Probation & Parole Officer II Lionors Silkett is the winner of the 2021 Missouri First Lady's Pie Contest at the Missouri State Fair!

Silkett took Best of Show honors with her delectable chocolate-covered cherry pie, made with wheat she grew and harvested herself. A fierce competitor, Silkett spent months baking pie after pie to perfect her recipe — to the delight of her coworkers/taste-testers.

Missouri First Lady Teresa Parson presented the award at the fair.

August 2021 Employee of the Month


Seth Elliott, a corrections training officer at the Central Region Training Center, uses his professional skills to avert disaster. Elliott has completed crisis negotiation and crisis intervention training, which help prepare staff to recognize mental health crises and quell tensions.

Earlier this year, Elliot put his skills into action in the community. While he was walking his dog, a distraught neighbor approached him and said she feared her partner would harm himself. Elliott immediately notified emergency personnel and intervened with the neighbors to de-escalate the situation and keep everyone safe.

Taking Care of the Team

Making an ImP.A.C.T.

PACT training

A class of 18 Peer Action Care Team (P.A.C.T.) members recently completed a pilot training program at the Central Region Training Center to help enhance the support and services these corrections heroes provide to teammates.

Currently 320 P.A.C.T. members throughout the state provide information, resources and confidential support to employees who experience personal or workplace stress or potentially traumatic events.


P.A.C.T. members always maintain confidentiality (within limits outlined in policy); build respect and understanding; actively listen; display sensitivity and model integrity; work within established guidelines (D2-15.8); work as a team member to ensure the best possible care and outcome; and stay open-minded and willing to learn.

Learn more about P.A.C.T. and other MODOC Cares programs »

Offering a Lifeline to Stop Suicide

During National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month (September) and World Suicide Prevention Day (Sept. 10), take time to become familiar with suicide prevention resources.


The Department of Veterans Affairs provides tips on identifying and handling a suicide crisis involving someone you know, using steps outlined in the acronym REACH: Reach out. Engage in an assessment of possible risk factors. Attend to their safety. Connect them to a resource. Help them make and maintain a plan to stay safe.

The Missouri Suicide Prevention Network coordinates and develops implementation of the Missouri Suicide Prevention Plan, based on the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. The network provides toolkits, training info and resources at

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline connects people with counselors and other resources at 1-800-273-8255 or

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) also provides a helpline as well as crisis resources and information on suicide warning signs and risk factors.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention hosts 'Out of the Darkness' community runs/walks and other fundraising events throughout Missouri and across the country to increase awareness of suicide and funding for programs that help prevent it.

Taking Care of Yourself

Get Outside

Outdoor More

Through Oct. 15, the department is sponsoring the Outdoor More staff wellness challenge, which 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 receive an email Aug. 15, Sept. 15 and Oct. 15 reminding them to access the latest WebFocus form on the Wellness Challenge web page at Complete and submit the form showing the preceding month's tracked activity hours. Each form will be available for one week.

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

Get a Flu Shot


When flu season and a pandemic converge, protecting public health gets even more complicated. It's up to us to do all we can to reduce risks to ourselves, our teams, our families and our communities.

The best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated every year. The flu vaccine can not only significantly decrease the chance that you'll get the flu but also reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization — as well as the severity of illness if you still get sick after being vaccinated.

The Department of Corrections offers flu vaccine clinics throughout October. Check in with your employee health nurse, and stay tuned for details.

Get Covered


Open enrollment for the Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan (MCHCP), the health insurance provider for Missouri state government employees, takes place Oct. 1-31. During this period, currently active and eligible staff members can elect to begin coverage or change coverage levels for themselves or for dependents. Eligible retirees, surviving dependents, terminated vested subscribers, and those with long-term disabilities can make changes to their plans during this period. New coverage and changes to coverage go into effect Jan. 1, 2022. Open enrollment materials are now available on the MCHCP website. Get started at »

Taking Care of the Community

Charitable Campaign


In the past two years, the Missouri State Employees Charitable Campaign (MSECC) has contributed nearly $2 million to nonprofit organizations that improve the lives of Missourians. In this annual unified fundraising effort, state employees make donations to their favorite charitable organizations through payroll deduction or one-time gift by completing pledge cards on paper or through the Employee Self Service portal (ESS). Last year, state employees donated to 629 organizations, including individual charities, such as the Samaritan Center and the Food Bank for Northeast and Central Missouri, as well as larger federations, such as America's Best Charities and United Way. As the largest state government agency in Missouri, the Department of Corrections team can make a big difference. Get started at the MSECC website »

Teeing Up for a Cause

Corrections golfers gathered on the greens last month for the 2021 Director's Cup tournament benefiting the 10-33 Benevolent Fund. In one of the largest events in the tournament's 20-year history, 34 teams raised more than $13,500 for the fund, which provides benefits and support for the families of public safety officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Tournament winners:

2021 directors cup

1st Place A Flight 

Kemna Enterprises: Scott Kemna, Kevin Kochersperger, Charlie Scott, Gene Kemna

2nd Place A Flight 

Missouri Eastern Correctional Center: Madi Peyton, Curt Beard, David Lee, Bryan Snyder

1st Place B Flight 

Boonville Correctional Center: Becky Ehlers, Rick Skaggs, Stan Knipp, Justin Page

2nd Place B Flight

Putt Pirates: Jeff Norman, David Vandergriff, Phillip Anderson, Teri Lawson

All-Women's Team Title

Women's Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center: Melissa Baskett, Mandy Branstetter, Jeni Fox, Terri Eastwood

Women's Long Drive: Madi Peyton; Men's Long Drive: Lenny Lenger; Women's Closest to Pin: Terrie Martin; Men's Closest to Pin: Mitchell Carroll

Leading Volunteers

Under the direction of corrections staff, offenders in our institutions and clients on probation or parole are learning the value of giving back.

In St. Louis County, Probation & Parole volunteers are working with the Problem Properties Unit on cleanup efforts that reduce hazards in area neighborhoods.

Throughout the state, Restorative Justice Gardens continue to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to area food banks to help feed hungry Missourians.


The Restorative Justice quilting program continues to shine in the spotlight, with an NPR feature and, most recently, a Washington Post story that highlights the Case Manager Joe Satterfield-led project wherein offenders at South Central Correctional Center are making custom quilts for all foster children in the county. The attention has generated an outpouring of donations from people throughout the United States. Statewide, Restorative Justice programs have produced 1,143 quilts and blankets so far this year, including 870 from Jefferson City Correctional Center; 123 from Chillicothe Correctional Center; 76 from South Central Correctional Center; 57 from Farmington Correctional Center; six from Algoa Correctional Center; four from Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center; and three from Northeast Correctional Center.

Visits With the Parsons

While traveling the state to celebrate Missouri's bicentennial this summer and fall, Governor Mike Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson are taking time to meet with corrections staff and visit our facilities.

Raising the Roof


A devoted supporter of corrections and a dedicated champion of workforce development, the Governor, along with his staff and family, visited Western Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center in St. Joseph last month to see a new vocational training pilot program in action.


The department teamed up with construction products company Tremco’s WTI (Weatherproofing Technologies Inc.) to prepare incarcerated Missourians to become commercial roofing technicians. The first group of five new roofers has completed an eight-week, two-phase training program integrating live stream instruction, self-paced learning, in-person/on-site training and hands-on practice. Participants earned OSHA certification and learned roofing and waterproofing techniques. They can get experience working with roofs on site and then embark on new careers with Tremco after release. All participants are within two years of release; one gets out this month.

“It is amazing that we have such a great partnership with WTI/ Tremco,” says Missouri Department of Corrections Reentry Coordinator Heather Cullen. “They’re willing to work with Missouri Department of Corrections to improve the lives of our offenders in order to create stronger, healthier, and safer communities.”

In other states, the Ohio-based company has offered the training program Elevate to job seekers involved in the criminal justice system, helping them to secure employment while also providing wrap-around support. The MODOC partnership marks the company’s first foray into training programs inside prisons.

Fair Friends

gov - state fair

Governor and First Lady Parson visited the Department of Corrections booth at the Missouri State Fair to encourage the department's recruitment efforts and chat with staffing specialists such as Priscillah Mwamba and Chris Browning. During the fair, visitors had the chance to play games, get career guidance, and apply for corrections jobs on site.

Growing 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!
  • 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 pool parties to vehicle magnets.

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

In the department's incentive program, staff can earn up to $1,000 for each successful referral of a new correctional officer or food service worker (cook).

  • 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.

This program is open to all corrections staff except those designated as Missouri Department of Corrections recruiters or staff representing MODOC at recruiting events.

Learn more »

P&P Changes

District Merger

Effective Sept. 1, Probation & Parole Districts 9, 33 and 43 have merged. The catchment for District 9 has expanded to include Newton and McDonald counties (District 9S) as well as Lawrence County (District 9B).

Division Switch

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.

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

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

Show Your Teammates Some Appreciation


We're working hard to retain staff and to make the Missouri Department of Corrections a great place to work and show how important each person is in what we do.


  • Warmly welcome new employees.
  • Thank your coworkers.
  • Keep a positive mindset.
  • Give appreciative feedback.
  • Recognize individual strengths.
  • Remember the vital role you play in supporting the department's mission.