Staff Newsletter | November 2021

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missouri department of corrections

Employee Newsletter   |  November 2021

Honor & Valor

MVE Staff Recognized for Heroism


When Vocational Enterprises Supervisor II Jimmie Gorham was attacked by an offender at the Western Missouri Correctional Center Missouri Vocational Enterprises factory, he was fortunate to have a brave teammate nearby. Gorham had been punched, kicked and bitten and was struggling with his assailant when Factory Manager II Robert Duly rushed to the scene.

Placing his own safety at risk, Duly pulled the offender off his colleague and maintained control long enough for the injured Gorham to escape the offender's grip. Thinking quickly and staying calm, Gorham located his radio and called for help.


In recognition of their heroism, both men have been honored with the Director's Award of Valor. This award is presented annually to Missouri Department of Corrections staff who have performed exceptional acts of courage.

American Heroes

This Veterans Day, we're honoring the heroes who not only have served our country in the United States military but also serve our state in the Missouri Department of Corrections. Every day veterans give back to our communities by taking on tough jobs that help improve lives and make Missouri safer. Some even take service a step further, working with offender-veterans to help them find support and success, whether through our veterans units inside prisons or in veterans treatment courts in the community. Thank you all for your service.

We're sharing veteran stories in social media all month. Tell us why you have served the nation and the state, or help honor a veteran team member at

Shannon Tilley

Shannon Tilley

District 10R Probation & Parole Officer II Shannon Tilley supervises veterans in the Greene County Veterans Treatment Court.

Tilley served in the U.S. Army active duty and reserves for more than 15 years. She learned Polish at the Defense Language Institute on the Presidio of Monterey and used her skills to serve as a signals intelligence voice intercept operator. She also was sent with the First Calvary Division to Operation Desert Storm.



Why she serves:

"After serving in the Army, I feel an obligation to continue service to my country and state because of all the benefits I’ve received living in this country. When you experience what it is like in other countries, specifically for women, the drive to continue to help others is even more strongly ingrained into your psyche. I can’t even imagine a different course of action."

Kevin Wilson


Correctional Officer I Kevin Wilson serves at Boonville Correctional Center.

Wilson retired from the U.S. Navy after 20 years of service, which he began at age 19. He served on many ships: USS Saginaw (LST 1188), USS America (CV 68), USS Iowa (BB 61) and USS Anzio (CG 68), all with a port in Norfolk, Virginia. He also served at the Naval Station Norfolk, the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and Station, and the Naval Technical Training Center in San Antonio.

Why he serves:

"The reason I've made a career out of serving others is because I enjoy it. Because I've had the pleasure in my life of other people helping and serving me, I thought it would be great to return the favor to others. I feel it is a privilege to serve in the U.S. Navy — something I will never forget."

Marlys Joe

Marlys Joe

Office Support Assistant Marlys Joe works at Western Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center.

Joe joined the U.S. Army in her 30s, attained the rank of sergeant, and worked as a biomedical technician, repairing medical equipment used during deployments. After leaving the military because of an injury, she joined the corrections team.

Why she serves:

"One of the things that I am most proud of is helping others, even if they do not know it — whether it is providing safe medical equipment to keep soldiers around the world alive or working in DOC to enter client information that helps case managers and probation and parole staff to understand who these men are and create a program for the client to be a successful part of the community when they are discharged. I understand that there is a circle of commitment between these two jobs that I’ve had, and for me it is very profound.The feeling I had for serving my country is the exact same as serving my community."

Dan Redington


Northeast Correctional Center Warden Dan Redington served on active duty as a submarine navigational electronic technician in the U.S. Navy for four years before joining the Missouri Department of Corrections.

Why he serves:

"I have always loved corrections. Coming in right after the military, the structure and the teamwork reminded me of the military, and I have always liked that. I also feel that we are making a difference in society by taking individuals and working with them to turn out good citizens going back out into the community."

Paul Koessel


Correctional Training Officer Paul Koessel joined the department in 1994 and served as a probation and parole officer until 2017, when he joined the Eastern Region Training Center team.

In 2004, Koessel joined the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves and now serves as reserve command senior chief at Sector Upper Mississippi River St. Louis. He has served in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in Port Arthur, Texas, and in five major flooding events from North Dakota to Louisiana. Last month Koessel completed the Senior Enlisted Leadership Course at the Coast Guard Academy, where he earned the Alex P. Haley Award for Academic Excellence.

Why he serves:

"I absolutely love my job as an academy instructor and enjoy bringing a career full of experience, strength and hope to new employees of the department." 

James Smith


James Smith is a recreation officer at South Central Correctional Center.

Smith served in the U.S. Naval Submarine Force and Naval Reserves from 1981 to 1993.

During his service, he earned a dolphins pin, in recognition of submarine qualification, as well as a Navy Achievement Medal, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, a Good Conduct Medal, Naval Reserve Meritorious Service, a National Defense Service Medal, a Navy Sea Service Ribbon and a National Defense Medal.


Why he serves:

"I have always enjoyed working as a team and for a team I am proud of — and to help preserve all the rights and freedoms that others have given their life for."

Off the clock, Smith, 58, is an athlete who competes in the Missouri Senior Games each year in basketball, swimming, and track and field. He has earned gold medals for free throws, around the world, jump rope and dribble.

David Adkison


David Adkison is a physical plant supervisor at Chillicothe Correctional Center.

Adkison enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1978. He served as an aviation machinist mate on the USS Guadalcanal (LPH 7) and earned his aircrew wings flying search-and-rescue operations as a crew chief on a UH-IN helicopter. He joined the U.S. Naval Reserves in 1982, affiliating with Patrol Squadron Six Seven at Naval Air Station Memphis. He served as a T56 power plant technician, a full system quality assurance representative, a chief petty officer, a maintenance control chief, a patrol squadron, a maintenance senior chief, an A-wing senior enlisted leader and, ultimately, a maintenance master chief. Adkison deployed to Kuwait for three tours in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. He retired in September after 34 years of service, having earned more than a dozen military honors.

Martha Powell


Martha Powell has worked as a correctional officer for the Missouri Department of Corrections for more than 20 years, currently serving at Southeast Correctional Center.

Powell served in the U.S. Army as a flight operations coordinator, keeping flight records for pilots and sending flight orders to other military bases. She was stationed in several posts throughout the United States as well as in Korea.

Why she serves:

“I have enjoyed the job. I have had some conversations with offenders to try to let them know that even though you are in prison, there can still be a positive side of life. I really try to talk to the younger inmates. I would like to think that I have had a positive impact on some of them. I am looking forward to continuing my career in corrections.”

Gina Rains


Gina Rains joined the department in 2009 and currently serves as a corrections program specialist at Tipton Correctional Center.

Rains began her career with the U.S. Air Force in 1986 as a pneumatic specialist on B-52G models. She has served as an education specialist, vehicle operator/dispatcher, and military equal opportunity specialist, with assignments in Arkansas, Florida, California, England and South Korea. She served as superintendent for equal opportunity at Whiteman Air Force Base in 2000 and was promoted to master sergeant in 2004. Her awards include a Meritorious Service Medal, an Air Force Commendation Medal, an Air Force Achievement Medal, an Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, a National Defense Service Medal, a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and a Korean Defense Service Medal.

Why she serves:

"I have chosen a path to serve others as my faith teaches us we should live our lives in continual service to others. I am also a Virgo, and we get great satisfaction and fulfillment when we are able to help others!"

Michael Pearey


Probation & Parole Officer II Michael Pearey serves District 10N.

Pearey served in the U.S. Army for 24 years, starting as a private in 1996 and ending as a captain at Fort Leonard Wood. He held jobs in the Signal Corps, Finance Corps and Military Police Regiment, and his military career includes two tours in Korea, one tour in Germany and two tours in Iraq. When he retired in 2020, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.  

Why he serves:

"I have enjoyed coaching, mentoring, and training personnel while serving to protect and defend America, and now I have been given the opportunity to serve at the state and local levels."

Jeremy Neugebauer


Jeremy Neugebauer is an investigator at Jefferson City Correctional Center.

Neugebauer joined the U.S. Air Force in 2001 and served as an intelligence analyst for four years. During his time in the military, he supported both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Why he serves:

"I enjoy working toward making our institutions safer and more secure for the well-being of both staff and offenders."

Cara Harms

Cara Harms

Cara Harms is a correctional training officer at the Central Region Training Center.

Harms joined the U.S. Army in 1989. She served for more than five years as a combat military police officer and a garrison military police officer before joining the Department of Corrections.

Why she serves:

"I believe my military career has helped me in being successful over all of these years. I love working for the State of Missouri, because I know we are making a difference in people’s lives, and I love being part of something bigger."

Bailey Carroll

Carroll Bailey

Probation & Parole Officer Bailey Carroll serves District 19.

She also serves as a sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserves. She currently is part of the 295th Ordnance Company based in Lincoln, Nebraska, and she drills monthly in St. Joseph. She has completed two tours in the Middle East, serving in Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Kuwait.

Why she serves:

"I chose to serve because I wanted to be part of something bigger than myself. The Army is a way for me to give back to those who have given so much to me. Knowing that I had a part in making America a safer place for future generations makes me proud. I come from a military family spanning three generations. I plan on serving my 20 years and enjoying retirement. I wouldn’t change it for the world!"

Michael Lawzano


Michael Lawzano is an investigator in the Office of Professional Standards.

Lawzano joined the Missouri Army National Guard in 1985 with the goal of completing military police training. He became a Hannibal police officer and also served as a military police staff sergeant in the National Guard for 23 years, earning multiple achievement awards.

In 2003-04, Lawzano was chosen from a pool of several thousand military police officers to establish and supervise day-to-day operations in the first Baghdad Major Crimes Unit in Iraq. He served as an area supervisor in Italy, an assistant shift supervisor in Iowa and a shift supervisor in Missouri. He also has been assigned to Panama and Belize.

Why he serves:

"I enjoyed serving in the Missouri National Guard and the comraderie of the men and women I served with."

Stephen Wright


Probation & Parole Officer Stephen Wright works in the transitional housing unit at Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center.

Wright joined the U.S. Army in 1988 and served in Germany, Kansas, Georgia, Alaska and Florida. He was deployed to Iraq three times and was awarded a Bronze Star Medal with an oak leaf cluster, along with numerous other awards and honors. He retired in 2015 after 27 years of service.

Julia Gorton

Julia Gorton

Probation & Parole Officer Julia Gorton serves District 10R.

Gorton joined the U.S. Navy in 2006. After a year of training in Pensacola, Florida, she was sent to a destroyer in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, for three years. She was deployed to the Arabian Sea twice to protect oil rigs for Iraq and was deployed to the coast of Somalia for anti-piracy operations. She also served in Virginia Beach and San Antonio, where she worked at the National Security Agency. She joined the Department of Corrections in May 2021 after earning a degree in criminal justice.

Why she serves:

"I knew it would be a great opportunity to help the community at large."

Tony Lee

Tony Lee

Power Plant Supervisor II Tony Lee oversees power plant operations at Moberly Correctional Center.

Lee served as a military police officer from 1984 to 1987, guarding chemical munitions and nuclear weapons.

Why he serves:
"I find fulfillment in my job because I believe that 'success is not measured by the material things we possess but by the lives we touch.'”

WIllis Booze


Willis Booze is a correctional officer at Western Missouri Correctional Center.

He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1981 to 1987, in the security police. He began his career providing security for aircraft and became a staff sergeant manning the security control tower monitoring alarm systems. He served in the United Kingdom and Germany and then completed his service in Abilene, Texas.

Why he serves:

"I chose a career in corrections just this past July, after working in a factory for so many years, when we moved to Missouri from Minnesota."

Adam Barker


Adam Barker is a corrections case manager at Tipton Correctional Center.

He served active duty in the U.S. Army for more than seven years and then served in the National Guard for two years while commissioning through the ROTC program. He served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, and his unit was one of the first to invade Iraq during the Iraq War.

Why he serves:

"I initially joined the military for the financial and educational benefits it provided but quickly developed a patriotic mindset that I still carry today. My time in the service has benefited my correctional career by developing a team philosophy, leadership skills and a strong sense of duty. I am a proud veteran who still upholds the Army values: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. Hooah!"

Ryan Morts


Ryan Morts, a 22-year corrections staff member, is a parole officer at Fulton Reception & Diagnostic Center.

Morts served as a military police officer in the U.S. Army National Guard for 15 years and then served as a security force member in the U.S. Air Force National Guard for five years. He was deployed overseas twice before retiring in 2013.

Why he serves:

"I have always wanted to help make a difference in the world. Serving my country has allowed me to do something bigger than myself. I was able to travel around the world and see places that I would have never been able to travel to on my own."

Ben Brister


Ben Brister is a probation and parole officer in District 10.

Brister served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1989 to 1993 as a heavy equipment operator, serving in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield. After leaving the military, he worked as a police officer and then became a probation and parole officer, a job he has done in both Texas and Missouri since 1998.

Why he serves:

"I knew I wanted to be involved in a career that makes a difference and serves the community."

Craig Wheeler


Craig Wheeler, a member of the corrections team for 19 years, is a factory manager in the Missouri Vocational Enterprises metal plant at Moberly Correctional Center.

Wheeler was an infantry soldier and Vulcan crew member in the U.S. Army, serving in Texas, Georgia, Alaska, Colorado, Germany, Korea, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He earned "top gun" honors for U.S. Army Europe in 1990 in Todendorf, Germany. He retired in 2005 after 18 years of duty because of health conditions tied to his service during Operation Desert Storm.


Why he serves:

"I love to help other people to succeed. The best part of my job is seeing offenders that have never had a job before get hired and watch them learn, gain confidence in themselves and finally realize they really are worth something after being told otherwise their whole lives. They go home and call in to the shop, excited to tell me they have a job and how they enjoy it. They thank me and the other metal plant staff for giving them a chance to prove they can do it. This is the way I can give back to my community, by molding productive citizens out of our offenders so they can be an important part of our neighborhoods."

Service runs in the Wheeler family. Craig's son, Sergeant Dakota Wheeler, earned the Director's Award of Valor.

Jake Ragan


Jake Ragan works as a first-shift correctional officer at Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center.

Driven to help his community, Ragan has served in the U.S. Army and has worked as a firefighter and emergency medical technician.

Why he serves:

"I have made a career out of serving people. I have always felt like I had a duty to ensure the safety of people and a duty to make a difference in the world. Serving people has always been a great honor, and I will continue to serve and continue to make a footprint of my memory into all I come across!"

Brian Fisher


Brian Fisher is a senior specialized trades worker at Boonville Correctional Center.

Fisher served as a boiler operator in the engineering unit in the U.S. Navy in the early 1990s. He lived on a ship for several years, traveling to Italy, Spain, France, Greece and Egypt.

Fisher started his career with the Missouri Department of Corrections in 2002 as a correctional officer and then was promoted to sergeant. He took a job in maintenance in 2020 and now serves as a stationary engineer (boiler operator).

David White


David White is a probation and parole officer in District 29.

He joined the U.S. Army in 1975 and served four years as a cannoneer, gunner and special weapons technical assembler with C Battery 3/18th Field Artillery at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. After a 22-year break in service, he enlisted in the Missouri Army National Guard and served with D Battery 1/129th Field Artillery in Independence. He earned the titles Enlisted Soldier of the Year in in 2003 and Missouri State Soldier of the Year 2006. He deployed with the 1/128th Field Artillery for Operation Noble Eagle to Fort Eustis, Virginia, with D Battery to Operation Katrina to assist the security operations in Jefferson Parish, and with B Battery 1/129th Field Artillery to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He served as first sergeant for B Company 35th Infantry Division in St. Joseph before retiring in 2017.


He worked with the Missouri Division of Youth Services as youth specialist group leader and service coordinator before joining the Department of Corrections in 2013.

Why he serves:

“My employment within our state has given me incredible opportunities to help people in a variety of ways, while getting to develop life-long friendships with truly committed associates.”

Douglas Nickelson


Douglas Nickelson is an intelligence analyst at Potosi Correctional Center.

Nickelson served in the Missouri National Guard from 1986 to 1989 and then joined the U.S. Air Force as a member of the security police, retiring in 2009. He has served in New Jersey, South Carolina, Texas, Missouri, Nevada and Korea. He completed two deployments and one assignment in Korea, two deployments to Saudi Arabia and one deployment to Iraq.

Why he serves:

"I made a career out of the military because I owe a debt of gratitude to men and women who went before me and stood guard on the Wall of Freedom, and I felt that the best way I could pay them back was to follow in their footsteps. I chose a career with the Department of Corrections after retiring from the USAF. After a lifetime of serving in the military protecting the people of the United States, I felt it was time to serve the people of Missouri."

Allen Hughes

Allen Hughes

Allen Hughes, a 20-year Department of Corrections staff member, is a corrections training officer at Southeast Correctional Center.

Hughes served in multiple countries during his tour of duty with the U.S. Army. He also served as a uniformed law enforcement officer before joining the corrections team.

Why he serves:

"I have spent virtually my entire life in service to my country, my state and the citizens of numerous foreign countries around the world. I believe sincerely that we are all created to serve in some capacity and that it is our decision to choose whether to accept this responsibility. I chose to accept this responsibility at an early age because I realized that there are and always will be those who suffer in some way, as well as those who simply cannot do for themselves."

Rowe Arends


Probation & Parole Officer II Rowe Arends serves District 22.

From 1988 to 1991, Arends served in the U.S. Navy on active duty on the USS Briscoe (DD 977) in Norfolk, Virginia. He then joined the U.S. Navy Reserves, serving from 1991 to 1996.

Why he serves:

"I have always tried to see the ability of people to do well and succeed in life and am dedicated to providing them with the resources to do just that. I have a motto I live by and boldly share: 'Change the heart, and you can change the mind, which will change the person.'” 

Lana Byram


Lana Byram joined the department in 2010 as a correctional officer and now works as an institutional activity coordinator at Northeast Correctional Center.

Byram served on active duty in the U.S. Army from 1986 to 1988 and then served in the Missouri National Guard from 2007 to 2013.

Why she serves:

"Corrections, in many ways, has mirrored my experience in the military. I do not have coworkers; I have a family."

Christopher Kirby


Christopher Kirby is a sergeant at Ozark Correctional Center (OCC) and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. OCC Correctional Officer I Jonathan Hubbard had this to say about Kirby's commitment to service:

"COII Kirby has always shown the values of teamwork, honor and leadership. His positive attitude and a passionate drive instilled by the United States Marine Corps help ensure mission success no matter the issue. He goes above and beyond to help out with things around the institution that need tending, such as reorganizing flower beds and repairing a birdhouse. He has even risked his own safety to put out a small fire in the captains' shack. Never wanting others to have to pull his weight, he has even completed shifts after being contaminated with pepper spray. Since becoming a supervisor, he exemplifies the values that he expects from his people and truly leads by example. With steadfast and unwavering determination, he fights every day to make this department better just as he fought to make the world a better place with the Marine Corps."

Michael Durbin


Probation & Parole Officer II Michael Durbin, a 25-year employee of the Missouri Department of Corrections, works in the substance use treatment program housing unit at Western Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center (WRDCC) in St. Joseph.

He joined the U.S. Army at age 24 and served four years active duty, during which he was stationed in Germany and also served as a Bradley Systems Mechanic/63 Tango 10 in Operation Desert Storm. Corizon mental health nurse practitioner Sami Yerganian had this to say about Durbin's dedication to his work:

"Mike enjoys his job working in treatment. He goes out of his way to assist his co-workers and has been said to be an excellent example of professionalism and teamwork. He strives to make sure the offenders on his case load are treated fairly and receive the release dates they are entitled to. Mike is genuinely interested in knowing that offenders can apply what they’ve learned from the treatment program to their everyday lives going forward. His dedication to serving others is evident in the exemplary way he performs his duties."

October 2021 Employee of the Month

Ed Bestgen

Ed Bestgen, regional administrator for the Probation and Parole North Central Region, knows how to tackle a project head on.

When he joined the planning team for a pilot program designed to equip probation and parole officers to safely and effectively make arrests, Bestgen immediately immersed himself in in the project. He provided knowledge, research and direction. He led team meetings and elicited input. He coordinated training, uniforms, equipment and vehicles. He even assembled the reports and recommendations that inform policy and implementation.

Throughout the project, he ensured all team members were invested and had a voice. His leadership and dedication not only set a high standard for staff but also help keep staff safe as they work in the community.

Giving Back

Charitable Campaign Continues Through November


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.

Paper pledge cards were due at the end of last month, but you can still contribute through a tax-deductible payroll deduction or a one-time gift online through Nov. 30.

Get started at the MSECC website »

Featured Organizations

The Central Office team is holding special fundraising events to help support three organizations during the charitable campaign: The Battle Within, Coyote Hill and the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation.

The Battle Within Supports Corrections Staff

Battle Within

Director Anne Precythe, Battle Within Outreach Director Josh Krascovec and Wellness Corrordinator Caitlin Rudolph. Krascovec visited Central Office during the campaign kickoff event to talk to the team about the organization's services for corrections staff.

Originally founded to help military veterans affected by post-traumatic stress, the Battle Within has expanded its operations to help corrections staff and other first responders. Services include the Revenant Journey — a five-day program taking a holistic approach to trauma using evidence-based methods — as well as family support, continuing-education classes, community events, and a frontline therapy network. Josh Krasovec from the Battle Within is working with MODOC's wellness and trauma teams to provide services for corrections staff.

To take part in a program, contact the Battle Within, Caitlin Rudolph or Meckenzie Hayes.

To donate to the organization, select 9020 on your electronic pledge card.

Coyote Hill Gives Foster Kids a Safe Place to Live


Founded in 1991, Coyote Hill works to give each child in its care a safe, loving home environment. The Christian organization operates through three areas of ministry: foster care licensing and support services, a foster care community of homes outside Columbia, and an equine program for veterans and children in foster care. Last year the organization expanded to Jefferson City, opening a community foster home that serves up to six children.

To volunteer or become a foster parent, contact Coyote Hill.

To donate to the organization, select 4014 on your electronic pledge card.

The Correctional Peace Officers Foundation Helps Corrections Families

A longtime partner of the Missouri Department of Corrections, the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation (CPOF) serves corrections staff and their families. The national organization provides financial support to families of officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty, offers scholarships to children of corrections staff, and operates the Catastrophic Assistance Program to help families affected by serious illness, natural disaster and other catastrophes.

For help, contact a Missouri CPOF representative.

To donate to the organization, select 9401 on your electronic pledge card.

Heeding a Higher Calling

Department and Director Honored for Prison Seminary Program


Prison Seminaries Foundation has honored the Missouri Department of Corrections with the 2021 Department of Corrections Director of the Year Excellence in Moral Rehabilitation Award. Enhancing spiritual programming for offenders, we've partnered with Hannibal-LaGrange University to launch the Freedom on the Inside prison ministry program at Jefferson City Correctional Center (JCCC), where 20 offender-students are earning bachelor’s degrees in Christian studies in preparation for becoming peer ministers to fellow Missouri state prison residents. During the 2021 Moral Rehabilitation Conference in Fort Worth Texas this month, JCCC Deputy Warden Billy Dunbar accepted the award from Prison Seminaries Foundation founder Burl Cain, a former Louisiana State Penitentiary warden.

Caring for Kids

Angel Tree Christmas


Give Missouri kids with incarcerated parents happier holidays this year by participating in the Prison Fellowship Angel Tree Christmas program. Incarcerated parents register their kids and let donors know what they need for Christmas, and volunteers shop for, purchase and wrap the gifts. Want to get your team involved? Register now to "adopt" area kids for Christmas. You can also make a monetary donation at

Caring Hearts


Two offender organizations at Potosi Correctional Center (PCC) are doing their part to support babies and parents in the community, through donations to Caring Hearts Pregnancy Resource Center/Medical Clinic. PCC Restorative Justice participants donated 33 handmade baby blankets, and PCC hospice program volunteers donated $1,000 collected through an offender-led fundraiser. The center provides prenatal and parenting classes, referrals, counseling, baby supplies and more to Potosi area families.

Read With Me

Read With Me - ozark

Throughout the state, staff and volunteers involved in the Read With Me program are building better dads. Recently the Ozark Correctional Center team has seen growing interest in the program, in which volunteers record incarcerated Missouri men reading books to their children and then mail each child a CD of the recording along with the printed book, at no cost to the family. The program helps to make stronger connections between kids and their dads while also supporting literacy. At OCC, about 25 men read books to their kids three times a month, thanks to the volunteers and staff who make it possible.

Quilts for Kids


The quilting program at South Central Correctional Center, where offenders are making a personalized quilt for each foster child in Texas County, has captured the national media spotlight in recent months. Restorative Justice quilting has been featured in St. Louis Public Radio, the Washington Post, podcasts such as the Mo & Katy Show, and other local and state media outlets.

Since then, Restorative Justice reentry programs have received nearly $30,000 in donated funds, materials and supplies — plus more than 100 additional pledges and 363 inquires into how to make a donation. These donations help support quilting programs throughout the state, yielding more quilts for the community.


Accessing Peer Action Care Team Services


Who is my P.A.C.T. member?

P.A.C.T. members are located in each Division of Adult Institutions facility as well as throughout each Probation and Parole Region and central office complex. To find a P.A.C.T. member near you, you can view the team roster on the K: Drive in the P.A.C.T. folder or contact a supervisor for assistance. Our P.A.C.T. members have at least one year of MODOC service and are free from pending disciplinary matters. Many team members have lived experience involving a life crisis or other potentially traumatic event.

Do I have to get approval to talk to a P.A.C.T. member?

No. Speaking with a P.A.C.T. member is voluntary, and you do not need permission. The only reason you would need prior approval is if you need temporary relief from your work assignment in order to use P.A.C.T. services.

To learn more about P.A.C.T., refer to policy D2-15.8 or contact: Meckenzie Hayes, LCSW, Manager of Trauma-Informed Employee Care at 573-526-3021 or

Give it Your Best Shot

Get a Flu Vaccine


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 on-site flu vaccine clinics. Check in with your employee health nurse, or find a vaccine site near you.

Need inspiration? Watch Nurse Amy Kitchens give Director Anne Precythe a flu shot »

Get a COVID Booster


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have approved COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for people who are at high risk of serious COVID illness because of age or underlying medical conditions and for people who are at high risk of infection because they live or work in high-risk settings.

This includes corrections staff.

Protect yourself, your family and your team by getting a COVID booster shot. Find a vaccination provider at

Training & Development


ENGAGE 2.0 Updates

Recent changes in the Missouri state government ENGAGE 2.0 professional-development program went into effect Oct. 1. Supervisors' evaluations of their staff now take place twice a year, in March and September. ENGAGE conversations between supervisors and staff take place on the non-evaluation months, 10 times per year.

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. This month: Learn how to become an adjunct instructor.

Honor Students

Meet New Eastern Region Team Members Making Their Mark in Training


Congratulations to new Correctional Officers I Abeku Pearson of the Transition Center of St. Louis (TCSTL) and Kevin Stone of Potosi Correctional Center (PCC), the Class 5 and Class 4 recipients of the Eastern Region Training Center (ERTC) Director of Staff Training & Development Coin of Excellence. The team members were nominated by peers and selected by ERTC staff for demonstrating a high standard of excellence in areas including attendance, appearance, class conduct, class participation and test scores during training. Special shoutout to Javon Nix, a new Missouri Eastern Correctional Center (MECC) officer who inspired fellow graduates with a speech that touched on her motivation for starting a career in corrections: “It was the desire to work within a rehabilitation environment. Within that environment, I will have the opportunity to help people trying to turn their life around. Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone has the power to change and be a new person.”

Ambassador Spotlight

Corrections Way ambassadors serve a vital role in supporting The Corrections Way, a foundation of
conduct and communication built around a core of common values guiding our work. Ambassadors steer fellow staff to resources and answer questions about Corrections Way training, practice and initiatives.

Meet some ambassadors:

Team Tipton

Pamela West, Adam Barker, Dominque Morris, Kevin Marshall & Sean Farmer + Randy Witt, Billie Webb & Amanda Butts

tipton ambassadors

The Corrections Way Ambassador Team at Tipton Correctional Center continues to grow and evolve. We started with three members but immediately lost a member after the first boot camp due to a promotion. Since that time, we have had a couple more promotions come from our ranks. Our team now consists of eight ambassadors who hold various positions within the institution. 

Our team firmly believes in The Corrections Way and promotes The Corrections Way philosophies throughout the institution. Some examples include posting in the staff newsletter, maintaining a bulletin board at the entrance to the institution, and sending out weekly inspirational quotes. The two things we do that have the greatest impact, though, are holding leadership walks and taking part in frontline staff training. Both of these allow us as ambassadors to meet face to face with staff and talk to them about The Corrections Way and other issues they may have. The Corrections Way is all about improving the lines of communication and having better and more meaningful conversations.

We are looking forward to what the future holds as we return to normal operations. We will be holding some workshops in the coming weeks, and we are very excited. Our two newest ambassadors are looking forward to attending boot camp so they can have a greater impact. TCC is definitely onboard with The Corrections Way, and we are always looking for new ways to promote it.

Meet more ambassadors »

Growing the Team

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 »

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

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.