Staff Newsletter | March 2022

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missouri department of corrections

Employee Newsletter   |  March 2022

Sky's the Limit

New View of a Worksite


Our recent moody Missouri weather has given us a few gifts for the senses, like this semi-stormy sky over Jefferson City Correctional Center. Thanks to Sergeant Micah Smith for the photo.

Have an eye-catching photo from your worksite to share with the corrections team? Send it to

Pay Plan Passes

All Corrections Staff to Receive Pay Raise


The Missouri General Assembly has approved and Governor Mike Parson has signed into law a supplemental budget bill that gives all state government workers a 5.5% cost-of-living pay increase and ensures an annual full-time salary of at least $31,200 for all members of the corrections team. The new pay rate goes into effect March 1, with changes reflected in March 31 paychecks. This raise marks an approximate 30% increase in the Correctional Officer I starting salary over the last five years.

The Governor has recommended additional budget items benefiting staff for the upcoming fiscal year 2023 budget. If approved, these changes would go into effect July 1, 2022. They include:

Deferred Compensation Matching Contribution: The state contributes $25 per month to the deferred compensation plans of state employees investing $25 or more.

Stable Health Care Premiums: Fiscal year 2023 Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan premiums stay the same for most employees and decrease for those with three or more children.

Professional Development Rewards: The highest-performing 10% of employees in each department are eligible for professional development funding of up to $1,500.

Leadership Externship Program: Eight leaders spend six months working in a different department.

Polar Power

Corrections Staff Brave the Cold for Special Olympics


From standing out in the cold to swimming in frigid waters, corrections staff are more than chill about taking one for the team -- especially when the team is Special Olympics Missouri.

During one of our many February winter storms, Algoa Correctional Center staff members Jodi Schmutz and Adam Koestner joined local law enforcement in the snow and sleet on the roof of Jefferson City's Capitol Plaza Hotel, where the group spent 30 hours raising money for Special Olympics Missouri. As part of the Cop on a Rooftop fundraising program, businesses invite officers to take shifts on top of their buildings to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics Missouri athletes, passing down a bucket on a rope to collect donations from passers-by.

Before they'd even had the chance to thaw out properly, the group then took part in the annual Polar Plunge fundraiser Feb. 26 at Lake Ozark Public Beach, dipping into icy waters for the cause. There they faced off with Jefferson City Correctional Center staff members Ashley Korsmeyer, Christina Baldwin, Danielle Killion, Tanya Porting and Vance Siegel. The two Jefferson City teams raised a combined $11,670 for Special Olympics. Meanwhile, Maryville Treatment Center team members Todd Warren, James Runde and Kathleen Baudino participated in the St. Joseph Polar Plunge.

Polar Plunge events continue through March in locations statewide. Support the cause »


Officers Honored for Heroic Acts

Three Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center (ERDCC) staff members recently were presented with the Missouri Department of Corrections Lifesaver Award.



ERDCC Lieutenant Stephen Benson responded during a medical emergency, assessing the situation and providing assistance while working to coordinate patient transport to a nearby medical facility.

ERDCC Correctional Officer I Tory Pickett provided lifesaving measures to an offender who was observed unresponsive. He remained with the offender until medical staff arrived.

ERDCC Sergeant Zachary Thomure assisted a fellow officer in providing care for an offender who was struggling to breathe.


Farmington Correctional Center Correctional Officer I Alissa Ballew earned a Departmental Lifesaver Award for acts of heroism performed over the summer. Ballew used her training and quick action in administering measures to save the life of an unconscious offender.

December 2021 Employee of the Month


David Howe, a captain at Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center (ERDCC), is willing and able to risk his own safety to protect the people in his facility. When an offender inside ERDCC commandeered a box truck used by warehouse staff, Howe leapt into action. He pursued the speeding truck across prison grounds in a golf cart and gave the offender multiple directives to stop. As the vehicle sped toward staff members, Howe used a shotgun procured from perimeter patrol to first shoot out the truck’s radiator and then, as the truck sped toward him, to shoot out the tires. He continued the pursuit as the truck crashed into an interior fence and came to a stop. He then apprehended the offender. Howe’s act of heroism not only prevented an escape but also protected countless staff and offenders from serious injury.

Rising Stars

Corrections Staff Complete Missouri Leadership Academy

Two members of the corrections team were part of the most recent class to graduate from the Missouri Leadership Academy, a state staff program that brings together emerging leaders from across all 16 executive departments to build new skills and develop innovative ways to serve citizens.



Transition Center of Kansas City Associate Superintendent Spencer Colliatie and his multi-agency team, MO Appreciation, researched the role non-financial rewards and recognition have on improving job satisfaction and employee retention in state government. The team presented its capstone project to the Governor’s cabinet last month and now is working on a plan for statewide implementation. MO Appreciation teammates include Heather Dolce (DSS), Sheila Kaiser (DHEWD), Sara McNeely (DCI), Melissa Scheperle (MoDOT) and Danielle Smith (DCI).



Chief of Fiscal Management Gil Long and his multi-agency team, Show-Me Alliance, presented to the Governor's cabinet their capstone project on creating a real and sustainable culture change in the arena of diversity and inclusion, with an actionable plan for all state government agencies. His group included Emily Wilbur (DNR), Rebecca O’Hearn (MDC), Iuesha Wright-Crowder (MoDOT), Stephanie Thurber (MDC) and Beckie Gierer (DMH).

Trauma Team

Peer Action Care Team Levels Up


Last month the department held our first Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) training using the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation model for crisis intervention and response. Now every part of the state will have a CISM-trained corrections professional ready to help staff in a crisis, improving our response to potentially traumatic events. The team hopes to train additional Peer Action Care Team (P.A.C.T.) members in the future.

Fresh Faces

P&P Welcomes New Officers


Last month the latest Division of Probation & Parole team members completed pre-service training. Graduation ceremonies were held at the eastern, central and western training centers to celebrate the achievement. Congratulations to all new members of the Missouri Department of Corrections family!

In the Zone

Richard Adams Named Deputy Division Director


Richard Adams has been appointed deputy division director for the Division of Adult Institutions (DAI), overseeing Zone III.

Adams joined the Missouri Department of Corrections as a Correctional Officer I at Southeast Correctional Center in 2002. At SECC, he has served as a sergeant, lieutenant, captain, major, assistant warden and deputy warden.

In July 2020, Adams was promoted to warden at Missouri Eastern Correctional Center.

Effective March 1, in his new role as DAI Zone III director, Adams oversees prisons in Bonne Terre, Fulton and Pacific, as well as the Central Transfer Authority and the Security Intelligence Unit.

Zone Realignment

The Division of Adult Institutions has realigned facilities and DAI units under four zones, each overseen by a different deputy division director.

Zone I, Ryan Crews: Boonville Correctional Center, Chillicothe Correctional Center, Crossroads Correctional Center (caretaker staff), Moberly Correctional Center, Maryville Treatment Center, Northeast Correctional Center, Tipton Correctional Center, Women's Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center, Western Missouri Correctional Center, Western Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center

Zone II, Jason Lewis: Algoa Correctional Center, Farmington Correctional Center, Jefferson City Correctional Center, Ozark Correctional Center, Potosi Correctional Center, South Central Correctional Center, Southeast Correctional Center

Zone III, Richard Adams: Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center, Fulton Reception & Diagnostic Center, Missouri Eastern Correctional Center, Central Transfer Authority, Security Intelligence Unit.

Zone IV, Vevia Sturm: Project Management and Programs Administrator - Religious & Spiritual Programming, Crisis Intervention Teams, DAI Policy & Procedure Analytst, Corrections Records Technician, Library Services

The NRG Challenge

Gaining More Energy Through Nutrition, Rest & Gratitude

NRG Challenge

Need an energy boost? Join Missouri Department of Corrections Wellness April 1-30 for the NRG Challenge. The goal of this challenge is to raise awareness about positive coping skills and healthy habits that can improve physical wellness and give you more energy.

How to Participate:

During April, track the days you made an effort to eat better, get higher-quality sleep and practice gratitude. Try the suggestions provided, or use other positive coping skills to gain more NRG! Monitor your progress on the challenge form.

At the end of April, write about what participating in this challenge has done for you. Turn in your participation form by May 8. Completed forms can be collected at each worksite by a volunteer and then emailed to or mailed to Caitlin Rudolph in Central Office. Questions? Contact Caitlin Rudolph at

On the Road & On the Air

Statewide Campaign Set to Recruit Corrections Staff


A new advertising campaign underway throughout the state aims to recruit new corrections staff. With photos, videos and testimonials featuring current members of the corrections team, the campaign includes radio ads, social media ads, billboards, high school sports displays, and in-person hiring events with live radio broadcast components. A new text messaging system connects prospective hires with recruiters faster. Applicants can text "DOC" to 44844 to get started on their new careers.

Recruiting the Future

New Competition Tests Facilities' Staff Recruitment Skills

The Missouri Department of Corrections Talent Acquisition Team is sponsoring a staff recruitment and retention contest for Division of Adult Institutions sites and Division of Probation & Parole transition centers. This competition is designed to encourage, incentivize and enhance recruitment and retention strategies, ultimately resulting in an increase in the number of new staff hired and retained.


Part One: The Recruiting Competition

Duration: Sunday, January 30, 2022 – Saturday, April 30, 2022

How it Works: Each facility uses innovative recruitment strategies to hire new correctional offers and tracks the number hired during the Recruiting Competition.

Part Two: The Retention Competition

Duration: Sunday, May 1, 2022 – Saturday, October 29, 2022 (begins immediately following the Recruiting Competition)

How it Works: Each facility uses innovative retention strategies to retain new correctional officers and tracks the percentage of new hires acquired during the Recruiting Competition who are still employed at the end of the Retention Competition. If a tie occurs in the Retention Competition, the number of staff hired in the recruiting phase will serve as the tiebreaker.

Sign Up!

Each facility wishing to participate must submit an application (email format) for each competition. Apply by Feb. 7 for the Recruitment Competition and by May 1 for the Retention Competition. The application should include:

  • Competition Leader – Contact name, contact information and site name.
  • Plan of Action – What the site will do to boost recruitment and/or retention.

Read all the rules »

Incentives & Acknowledgements

  1. The winning Recruiting Competition team will receive an onsite, all-staff barbecue, complete with desserts, presented by the Talent Acquisition Team.
  2. The winning Retention Competition team will also receive an onsite, all-staff barbecue, complete with desserts, presented by the Talent Acquisition Team.
  3. To incentivize all sites, regardless of current staffing levels, an additional prize will be awarded to any site that finishes the nine-month competition with zero vacancies. Those sites will also receive an onsite, all-staff barbecue, complete with desserts, presented by the Talent Acquisition Team.
  4. Winners will be announced in the staff newsletter.

EVERYONE BENEFITS: The Talent Acquisition Team will compile best practices and present them at a wardens’ meeting and in the staff newsletter so each site can benefit from proven techniques.

SUBMIT COMPETITION APPLICATIONS TO: with the subject line: WINNING. All competition applications should be sent to the same address with the same subject line.

Referral Program Expansion

Recruitment Incentive Program Now Includes Part-Time Officers

The Department of Corrections offers an ongoing recruitment incentive program in which current staff can earn up to $1,000 for each successful referral of a new staff member in a correctional officer, food service worker or teacher position. Now that program has expanded to also include a payment of up to $500 for each successful referral of a part-time correctional officer.

  • A one-time payment of $250 for a full-time correctional officer or $125 for a part-time correctional officer 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 for a full-time correctional officer or $375 for a part-time correctional officer will be added to the referring staff member’s semi-monthly salary when each applicant reaches six months of employment with the department.
  • Refer a new hire, and complete the appropriate Incentive Program form. Forms are available on the K: drive at Policies, Procedures, and Forms\Forms-References\DOC-931 Forms.
  • Referrals that do not result in hires 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.

Celebrating Successes

Vocational Program Vets Second Class of Students


This summer, the Missouri Department of Corrections teamed up with construction products company Tremco’s WTI (Weatherproofing Technologies Inc.) to prepare incarcerated Missourians to become commercial roofing technicians. In August, offender-students at Western Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center (WRDCC) completed the eight-week, two-phase pilot training program integrating live stream instruction, self-paced learning, in-person/on-site training and hands-on practice. Last month the Tremco team returned to WRDCC to interview applicants seeking spots in the new class.

Participants earn OSHA certification and learn roofing and waterproofing techniques through courses covering safety essentials, roofing systems, roof maintenance, and roof restoration and repair. They also can get jobs with Tremco after release.

Local TV news station KQ2 recently reported on the program, talking with now-released program graduate Phillip Thompson, WRDCC Warden Ryan Brownlow and Tremco's Maleah Thompson. Watch the video »

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:

Northeast Region Ambassadors Team

Division of Probation & Parole

Northeast P-P Ambassadors

The Northeast Region Ambassadors Team, made up of 12 staff members from worksites across the region, meets monthly to plan ways to support The Corrections Way principles with their workplace teammates.

Each quarter, the team creates an updated Northeast Region Inside Look flyer highlighting a Corrections Way topic, such as "value premise," and an ambassador presents the flyer at the district administrators meeting.

Multiple related workshops are then provided to all regional staff throughout the quarter. Ambassadors conduct workshops specifically for supervisors, who then can take what they've learned back to their site's staff. Ambassadors also provide one-on-one individual workshops to staff as needed.

The Northeast Region is grateful to this dedicated group of hard-working ambassadors who support staff as we continue to carry out the department’s mission of improving lives for safer communities.

Northeast Region Ambassadors: Zach Crothers, District 26; Wendy Skinner, Carl Bimm and Tasha Kitchen, District 16; Kelsey Ybarra, District 11; Katie Bratton and Kristen Bourn, District 17; Stephanie Day and Barbara Fitzpatrick, WERDCC; and Mandy Adams, Melissa Willock and Micaela Swank, District 3.

Scholarship Opportunity

Higher Education Funding Available for Corrections Professionals & Families


The 2022 application period is now open for the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation scholarship program serving active CPOF members and qualifying family members enrolled full time in higher-education degree programs.

Applications and documentation are due Friday, April 15, 2022. Visit the CPOF website for eligibility requirements and application instructions.

Help, Hope & Healing

Seminar Supports Corrections Professionals Affected by Trauma and Stress


Registration is now open for the spring 2022 Post Critical Incident Seminar for staff experiencing post-traumatic stress.

The Post Critical Incident Seminar (PCIS) is a three-day intensively focused therapeutic event designed to assist corrections personnel experiencing traumatic stress following involvement in a serious incident.

Trauma exposure can change the human psyche and one’s worldview, which may make it difficult to return to a normal level of daily functioning. This event will encourage corrections personnel with similar experiences to convene and begin or further their recovery process, turning trauma into strength. Behavioral health service providers from outside the department, as well as specially trained peers familiar with corrections culture, will facilitate support.

Get details here. For more information, Meckenzie Hayes at 573-526-3021 or

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 Rapport with Coworkers


We're working hard to recruit and retain staff and to make the Missouri Department of Corrections a great place to work. Teamwork is essential to everything we do. It helps ensure safety. It makes us stronger. It even brings a little more fun to our daily jobs.


  • Listen to your coworkers, and show empathy.
  • Share ideas, and collaborate on projects.
  • Work together to solve problems and resolve conflicts.