Staff Newsletter | June 2022

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missouri department of corrections

Employee Newsletter   |  June 2022

Celebrating You!

June is State Team Member Appreciation Month

State Team Member Appreciation Month

Throughout June 2022, Missouri state government is recognizing the professionals who faithfully serve the people of the state. Here are a few ways we're celebrating:

MO Appreciation: A new state government website provides resources for formal and informal staff recognition, plus staff-satisfaction survey results and an online staff-recognition gift shop.

Worksite events: Check with your worksite to find out about special happenings scheduled for this month.

Employee discount website: Log into the Employee Self Service (ESS) portal, and look under "benefits links" to access scads of bargains on everything from lunch to electronics.

Capitol treats: In Jefferson City, the Office of Administration is hosting food truck days at the Capitol June 16 and 30, and Chez Monet will serve special lunch options June 21-23, with free cake for the first 200 customers.

Thankful Thursday: The Jefferson City Renegades baseball team is offering $1 tickets to state employees for the June 23 game.

Going Out in Style

Retiring Warden Celebrated for Act of Heroism, Decades of Service

Paul Blair

Paul Blair knows how to make a grand exit.

Just weeks before his retirement, as he was driving to his job as warden at Potosi Correctional Center in the wee hours of the morning, Blair noticed a cloud of smoke hovering above the houses a few streets behind him. He made a U-turn, followed the smoke and found a house on fire, with the roof engulfed in flames — and no one standing outside.

As another passer-by called 911, Blair banged on the home’s doors and windows and yelled to the inhabitants until a man, a woman and a small child emerged, rushing from the smoke-filled house to safety. Moments later, the living room collapsed. Thanks to Blair, no one was inside.

For his act of heroism, Blair was presented with the Director’s Award of Valor last month. The ceremony also marked the warden's retirement from the Missouri Department of Corrections, after 30 years of service to the people of the state.

May 2022 Employee of the Month


Gracie Humphrey, a functional unit manager at Tipton Correctional Center, always takes care of her people. When her teammates have worked overtime and found themselves unable leave their posts, she has picked up meals for them. When they’ve faced transportation challenges, she has driven them to worksites and medical appointments. When they’ve needed a break, she has filled in at their posts. She also regularly offers to help case managers process work releases, conduct violations and other important procedures. Humphrey’s service not only to offenders but also to fellow staff serves as an example and inspiration for the department.

Success Stories: Graduation Season

May marked multiple graduations in the Missouri Department of Corrections. Thanks to the support of staff in adult institutions and probation and parole facilities, Missourians in our care celebrated major milestones in learning and achievement. Education increases post-incarceration success and makes our communities and our facilities safer.

Washington University

Wash U Graduation

Through the Washington University Prison Education Project (PEP), 20 men at Missouri Eastern Correctional Center (MECC) completed programs and earned degrees, including 16 associate's degrees and four bachelor's degrees. Established in 2014, PEP is a fully accredited program granting integrated-studies degrees. Corrections staff also are eligible to take courses and earn degrees through Wash U's University College.

Ashland University


Western Missouri Correctional Center (WMCC) held its first graduation ceremony for offender-students completing degrees through Ashland University. Among the graduates, 16 students earned associate's degree, and one earned both an associate's degree and a bachelor’s degree. Nine graduated with honors. The Ashland University Correctional Education Program provides tablet-based higher education guided by site coordinators and corrections staff. Discounts for Ashland online programs are available to MODOC employees.

Fulton Community Supervision Center


A new class of probation and parole clients completed programming at Fulton Community Supervision Center (FCSC), a residential therapeutic environment where Missouri women on probation or parole access behavioral health treatment, job search assistance, life skills training and other resources they need to succeed in our communities. Division of Probation & Parole staff and community partners work together to transform clients’ lives. For the May ceremony, P&P officers traveled from other parts of the state to show their support.

Probation & Parole Gives Back

Kickin' It for Charity


Probation & Parole staff leveraged the spirit of competition this spring to raise funds for the Jackson County Victim Assistance Program. The Western Region hosted a charity kickball tournament between staff from the region's probation and parole district offices and their counterparts in the fledgling Transition Center of Kansas City (TCKC). More than 100 spectators watched 50 participants compete for the top spot in the tournament, as Western Region Training Academy trainers served as referees and Regional Administrator Kim Hubbard-Stewart and Deputy Division Director Jamie LiaKos took on umpire duties. TCKC took home the championship trophy. Through T-shirt purchases and tournament donations, the event raised more than $500 for crime victims.

Cooking for Kids


The Barry County Probation & Parole team donned aprons and worked a shift at the BBQ Station restaurant in Cassville. The tips they earned were donated to the Children's Center in Monett, which covers Barry and Lawrence counties. Serving children affected by abuse, the Children's Center provides forensic interviews, sexual assault forensic exams, child at-risk exams and trauma-focused therapy.

New Boonville Leader

Page at the Helm

Justin Page

Justin Page has been named warden of Boonville Correctional Center (BCC), effective May 10, 2022.

Page began his career with the department in September 1994 as a Correctional Officer I at BCC. He was promoted to sergeant and then served as classification assistant, corrections services trainee and corrections caseworker in less than three years.

Page became a functional unit manager in 2001 and assistant warden in 2010. Beginning in 2018, he served as deputy warden before being promoted to his new position as warden.

Officer of the Year


Moberly Correctional Center's Correctional Officer I Rebecca Wright has been named Officer of the Year by the Moberly Optimist Club.

A member of the Missouri Department of Corrections team since 1998, Wright is known for her positive attitude and keen observation skills. She goes out of her way to help out wherever and however she is needed — from working overtime to mentoring new staff.

Post Critical Incident Seminar

Support for Staff Affected by Trauma


In May, Mental Health Awareness Month, the Department of Corrections held our first Post Critical Incident Seminar (PCIS). Following a preliminary screening process, 22 corrections staff members who have experienced trauma inside or outside the workplace spent three days attending presentations and engaging in therapeutic treatment and training led by licensed counselors and other experts. Participants practiced eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy, couples counseling with spouses, mindfulness-based stress reduction, group therapy and more. The experience was transformative. Participants gave PCIS a rating of 9.4 on a scale of 1 to 10 and called the seminar “powerful,” “exceptional,” “life-changing” and even "life-saving."

Recruiting the Future

Part I Recruitment Challenge Winners Announced

Recruiting the Future

The South Central Correctional Center (SCCC) recruitment team has won the statewide Recruiting the Future Challenge. Between Jan. 30 and April 30, the team hired 48 new correctional officers, employing innovative strategies to bring the new teammates on board. They will be rewarded with a barbecue provided by the Talent Acquisition Team.

Statewide, recruitment challenge participants hired 336 new correctional officers, increasing new hires by 35% compared to the same period in 2021. Recruiters are compiling successful strategies to share with worksites throughout the state. The second part of the competition started May 1 and continues through Oct. 29. Bring your A-game, competitors!

Part Two: The Retention Competition

Duration: Sunday, May 1, 2022 – Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022

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.

  • Winners receive an onsite, all-staff barbecue, complete with desserts, presented by the Talent Acquisition Team.
  • 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.

Read all the rules »

Hiring on the Rise!


Recruitment efforts are paying off.

A combination of recent pay increases, hiring events, advertising campaigns, word-of-mouth referrals, marketing innovations and department-wide competition has resulted in continued growth in new-employee applications, particularly in the Division of Adult Institutions. From January to May, the monthly number of new applicants for Correctional Officer I positions in the Missouri Department of Corrections increased by more than 230%.

Tech Transformations

In summer 2022, we're adopting some new technologies and bidding farewell to others. Here are a few of the changes on the horizon.

RIP, Internet Explorer


On June 15, 2022, Microsoft will discontinue the web browser Internet Explorer (IE). The browser will no longer function and, consequently, will no longer be supported by the Office of Administration Information Technology Support Division (OA ITSD). OA ITSD is working hard to make the transition as seamless as possible.

Customers are encouraged to move to Microsoft Edge, which is replacing IE and which already is loaded on employee computers. Some older websites and apps may require the use of IE11 to display pages properly. To solve that, Microsoft Edge has a feature called IE compatibility mode.

Customers who currently use Edge or Google Chrome will not see any impact as a result of this change.

To access files on the Department of Corrections shared server (the K: drive), corrections staff are encouraged to use the network map or the icon on employee computer desktops.

Additional detailed information about the change will be rolled out in the coming weeks. If you have any questions or concerns, contact the Customer Care Team at

New Training System


For many months, members of the Staff Training and Development team have been hard at work on a new solution to help the department integrate, manage, assign, track and conduct training for Missouri Department of Corrections employees.

Scheduled to launch this summer, the department's new learning management system promises a streamlined, user-friendly experience heralding a new day in staff training. Stay tuned, and get excited!

New Mail Procedure Aims to Keep Out Dangerous Drugs

We're working to make our mail rooms safer.


As part of an ongoing effort to keep drugs and other dangerous contraband out of Missouri state prisons while reducing staff workloads and risk, the department has revised offender mail procedures.

Beginning July 1, 2022, personal postal mail will no longer be accepted at Division of Adult Institutions (DAI) facilities. Instead, personal mail for offenders will be sent to a mail processing center: C/O Digital Mail Center-Missouri DOC, PO Box 25678, Tampa, FL 33622-5678.

Once the mail has been received at the Digital Mail Center, it will be digitally scanned and made available on offender media players. Offenders without media player access will have their digital mail printed and delivered to them. Personal offender mail received after July 1, 2022, will be returned to the sender. Personal mail received between June 15, 2022, and July 1, 2022, will be forwarded to the Digital Mail Center for processing. Mail that has been scanned will be held at the Digital Mail Center for 45 calendar days and then discarded.

Correctional facilities will continue to accept the following items via postal mail:

  • Privileged/legal mail (e.g., courts, attorneys)
  • Mail from other agencies (e.g., child support)
  • Certified mail (must be pre-approved by the offender’s case manager)
  • Publications sent directly from a publisher, distributor or other approved vendor.
  • Vising applications

Review the updated mail policy on the K: drive, or visit the Friends & Family section of our website.

Training Academy Updates

Adjunct Instructors Wanted

If you enjoy talking to teammates and imparting knowledge and skills, consider becoming a Training Academy adjunct instructor. Opportunities are available for you to help teach fellow staff about topics ranging from first aid and CPR to case planning and risk assessment. Contact your institutional training officer or regional training center for the next available Trainers Skills Development course.

Training Director's Coin of Excellence


Meet the newest recipients of Director of Staff Training & Development Coin of Excellence, who rose to the top of Class 13 and Class 14 at each of the department's three training centers. The new team members were nominated by peers and selected by training center staff for demonstrating a high standard of excellence in areas including attendance, appearance, class conduct, class participation and test scores during basic training.

Congratulations to Jessica Nation from Northeast Correctional Center (NECC), Jimmy Robinson from Missouri Eastern Correctional Center (MECC), Kilea Cooper from Western Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center (WRDCC), Alexander Berry from NECC, Danielle Matusak from MECC and Kellye Armendares-Ortega from Western Missouri Correctional Center (WMCC). Welcome to the family!

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.

Ambassador Spotlight

Corrections Way ambassadors serve a vital role in supporting The Corrections Way (TCW), 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. They keep TCW at the forefront at sites across the state. They facilitate TCW workshops, conduct leadership walks, create TCW bulletin boards, assist with planning for quality conversations, de-escalate staff tensions, send motivational emails, create TCW newsletters, and assist with planning fun activities that build morale. They are a dedicated group of people who want to create a working environment where everyone belongs —  an environment built on trust, respect and rapport!  

Meet some ambassadors:

New Ambassador Training

Over the past three months, The Corrections Way team has been busy training new ambassadors. The department now has 269 ambassadors at worksites throughout the state. Be on the lookout for TCW activities at your location.

Eastern Region Ambassadors

ambassador bootcamp - eastern

Eastern region ambassadors: Elvia Casarez, Nikki Beverly, Robin Jones, Michael Arnold, Michael Anthony, Dorothy Vasquez, Jason Honerkamp, Kenneth Topper,  Shawn Jenkins, Julia Boyer, Randall Odle, Amy Luebbers, Billie Since, Kevin Richardson, Emily Haslag, Stephanie Easter, Shenan Shin and Matthew Krawiecki. Training facilitators: Ashley Golden, Shereda Smith and Ashley Thieme.

Central Region Ambassadors

Ambassador bootcamp - central

Central Region ambassadors: Wesley Wells, Deanna Berry, Luke Haller, Mary Bull, Julia Schnieders, Michael Melion, Heather Belfield, Rikki Beeman, Rocco Novak, Amanda Butts, Adam Barker, Amanda Clutter, Sommer Taylor, Robby Throop, Heidi Kennard, Micaela Swank. Training facilitators: Jamie Jepsen, Ashley Golden, Sharon Myler, Shereda Smith and Patricia Wickey. 

Western Region Ambassadors

Ambassador bootcamp - western

Western region ambassadors: Rusty Preston, Tiffany Chambers, Henrik Briggs, Karen Roberson, Amy Stacy, Jennifer Benda, Jacob Nowack, Kathleen Bidding, Angela Botts, Cecelia Tandy, Alexander Fairchild, Stephony Hoppe, Lana Tavernaro, Tracy Dixon and Tiffany Faddis. Training facilitators: Jamie Jepsen, Ashley Golden and Sharon Myler.

Strategic Plan

FY22 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

R-E-S-P-E-C-T in M-O-D-O-C


We're working hard to recruit and retain staff and to make  our department a great place to work. Demonstrating respect for coworkers builds a positive work environment. 


Encourage coworkers to share ideas, and then listen.

Don't engage in insults or name-calling.

Be mindful and accepting of cultural differences.