Staff Newsletter | August 2022

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missouri department of corrections

Employee Newsletter   |  August 2022

Get Help. Save Lives.


The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has launched a new hotline, establishing a single number, 988, that anyone experiencing a mental health crisis can call for help.

The lifeline is a national network of more than 200 local, independent crisis centers equipped to help people who are in mental health related distress or are experiencing a suicidal crisis. Clients can access help through a call, chat or text. The lifeline provides free and confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the U.S.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call now.

Culture Change

Corrections Team Builds a Better Work Environment

Over the past five years, leaders and staff have worked to make the Missouri Department of Corrections a welcoming, inclusive environment in which corrections team members serve the state with integrity and professionalism. Among other improvements, the department has implemented The Corrections Way, transformed the Training Academy, created the Office of Professional Standards, embraced ENGAGE and garnered more than $113 million in staff pay incrases.


These efforts are paying off in measurable ways.

  • Quarterly Pulse Surveys: Developed to provide a better understanding of organizational health, the quarterly pulse survey monitors state agencies' efforts to make improvements in areas such as direction, leadership, accountability, motivation and external orientation. Since 2018, the Missouri Department of Corrections has experienced a higher rate of improvement than any other state agency in most areas, and survey results show huge gains in leadership, direction and motivation. Staff feel good about their work.
  • Civil Rights Unit: As part of the Office of Professional Standards, the Civil Rights Unit tracks and investigates allegations of discrimination, harassment, retaliation and unprofessional conduct and provides related statewide training for all employees. Since 2018, civil rights complaints have declined significantly, with 40% fewer complaints filed in the first half of 2022 than in the first half of 2018. Staff are treating one another with respect.
  • Wellness: As the department continues to find and create resources and programs that promote staff wellness, more and more of our teammates are choosing to participate. Visits to the wellness resource page continue to rise, as does enrollment in programs designed to provide support for team members who have experienced trauma. Staff are taking care of themselves.
  • Staffing Levels: The department continues to recruit, hire and retain new staff. In the first half of 2022, correctional officer applications increased by 260%, with 91% of applications resulting in interviews. Overcoming turnover, the net gain in correctional officer staffing levels has increased every month this calendar year. More than 22% of new officers come from referrals by current team members. Staff are finding good people to join the team and making corrections a place they want to stay.

Giving Back

Teed Up for a Cause

Director's Cup

The 21st Annual Director’s Cup Golf Tournament benefiting the Missouri 10-33 Benevolent Fund takes place Friday, Aug. 19, at Tanglewood Golf Course in Fulton. The event raises money to help support the survivors of public safety officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. In the 18 years of the department's affiliation with the Missouri 10-33 Benevolent fund, corrections has contributed more than $200,000.

For a $100 entry fee, participants in the four-person scramble enjoy 18 holes of golf, golf cart use, prizes and refreshments. Tee times are at 8:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. Don't have a team? Sign up anyway to be placed with other golfers. Can't make it? Participate as a donor or hole sponsor.

For more information, contact 573-522-5969 or

Charity Champions


The Missouri State Employees Charitable Campaign (MSECC) launches Aug. 31, with a Department of Corrections kickoff event planned for Sept. 13.

This annual unified fundraising effort gives state employees the chance to make donations to their favorite charitable organizations through payroll deduction or one-time gifts. During the past two years, state employees have given more than $1,246,000 to charitable organizations.

To participate, visit Browse charities by category, keyword or geographic region. Follow the instructions for completing a pledge card online or on paper.

Check your worksite for fundraising (and fun-raising) events held throughout the campaign period.

Growing for Good


Despite a statewide drought, Restorative Justice Gardens in Missouri Department of Corrections facilities continue to produce fresh food for Missourians who need it thanks to the staff who oversee the programs and deliver the produce to area food banks and other organizations. Recently, the gardens have benefited Second Harvest Community Food Bank in St. Joseph; Boonville's Riverdell Care Center nursing home, Harvest House Inc. and Boonslick Senior Center; Feed My People Food Pantry in St. Louis; and a Bonne Terre women's shelter.

New Division Leaders

Valarie Mosely Named Division of Offender Rehabilitative Services Director


Valarie Moseley has been named director of the Division of Offender Rehabilitative Services, effective July 18, 2022.

Moseley joined the Missouri Department of Corrections in 2019 as assistant division director in the Division of Human Services, where she managed the Employee Health & Safety Section.

Moseley brings extensive experience in organizational transformation, strategic planning and business process analysis to her new role.

Before joining the corrections team, she spent a decade with Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland Inc., where she served as chief member services officer, driving strategic initiatives and overseeing major changes within the organization.

Moseley holds a master's degree in business administration from William Woods University.

Raylene Douglas Named Civil Rights Unit Director


Raylene Douglas has been named director of civil rights training and the department's Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator in Central Office, effective July 5, 2022. Douglas has more than 30 years of management, training and development experience with multiple organizations. 

She has held community service and leadership roles with various Missouri organizations, including United Way Workforce, Jefferson City Cultural Arts Commission, Zonta International, Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce and Young Professionals, University of Missouri Extension, American Business Women’s Association, Rape and Abuse Crisis Center, Northeast Missouri CIT and RISE UP Foundation. 

Douglas holds a master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis in government policy and a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in marketing, both from Grand Canyon University plus a degree in Hamburgerology from the world training center for McDonald’s Corporation.

Growing the Family

New Officers Join Probation & Parole


June marked a milestone in Probation and Parole, with the one of the largest classes of new officers in two years graduating from our training centers.

Deputy Division Director Jamie LiaKos and Western Regional Administrator Kim Hubbard-Stewart welcomed new Western Region graduates, while Director Julie Kempker presented badges in other regions.

Leading the Way

Trainer Brings The Corrections Way to Fellow Agencies


Senior Staff Development Training Specialist Jamie Jepsen presented the Value Premise, a core component of The Corrections Way, to a multi-agency state government audience last month.

As part of a monthly series of live training sessions offered by the Office of Administration, Jepsen helped participants understand the process of bringing awareness to individual value and the ways in which each team member affects the culture as a whole, aligning individual actions to an organization's mission and purpose. Trainees identified how their individual contributions help make a strong team.


Staff and Offenders Become Research Savvy

prin-research course

The Prison Research and Innovation Network (PRIN) team at Moberly Correctional Center is taking research to the next level. University of Missouri System social sciences professors Ashley Givens, Kelli Canada and Beth Huebner recently offered a course designed to enhance participants' understanding of academic research. Ten staff members and 19 offenders completed the sessions. PRIN is a five-state collective pursuing an evidence-based approach to improving the wellbeing of people who live and work in prisons. Teams of offender and staff advisors work with researchers to propose innovative changes.


Chillicothe Analyst Honored


Chillicothe Correctional Center Intelligence Analyst Ricardo Monroy has earned the Department of Corrections Lifesaver Award.

While working as a correctional officer last fall, Monroy witnessed an offender suicide attempt. He immediately entered the cell where the attempt was underway, took measures to save the offender's life and then followed proper procedures to ensure the safety of the area.

Monroy's quick thinking and fast response helped save a life and protect staff and offenders on site.

Team Players

Staff Travel Across the State to Help Colleagues

Moberly helpers

When you work in corrections, your family includes not only the people at your job site but also your teammates throughout the state ⁠— who are ready to help out when needed.

Last month, to alleviate strain for mid-Missouri staff working overtime, corrections teams from South Central Correctional Center and Ozark Correctional Center took multiple weekend shifts at Moberly Correctional Center. To thank them, the Moberly personnel club brought out the big grill and spent the day cooking and delivering meals throughout the facility.

Mind Changers

New Course Aims to End Victimization


Western Missouri Correctional Center Functional Unit Manager Janita Bisel is one of several corrections staff members facilitating the new course "Victims Impact: Listen and Learn." As part of a new curriculum being implemented in the coming months, the course positions victims’ personal experiences at the centerpiece of the program and gives offenders the opportunity to change their thinking and behavior, preventing future crime.


Ricky Johnson Jr. Visits Missouri Prisons


Last month former offender, peer support specialist and motivational speaker Ricky Johnson Jr. visited Eastern Region corrections facilities, where he spoke to hundreds of offenders about life choices, adversity and perseverance.

At Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center, he presented to offenders in the gym. At Missouri Eastern Correctional Center, he met with RISE program participants in the honor wing.

Fair Shot

Recruiters Head to Missouri State Fair


Stop by the Missouri Department of Corrections booth at the Missouri State Fair Aug. 11-21!

Our staff recruitment team will be on hand to shepherd prospective teammates into careers in corrections.

We'll be located in Booth 19 inside the air-conditioned Agriculture Building, near the south door. While you're there, pick up some goodies in the Missouri Grown Market, and visit with some of our fellow state agencies and education partners.

Simplified Referral

Department Changes to Digital Form

Referral Incentive Tracking Form

The department is streamlining the process through which current Missouri Department of Corrections staff members report their referral of new job applicants. The Referral Incentive Program tracking form is now digital, available here and through a link on the MODOC intranet. Tied to a searchable database, this system helps us more efficiently and accurately track referrals.

The paper/PDF referral form will be discontinued.

Current staff referring new applicants for correctional officer, food service worker or teacher positions are eligible for incentive payments of up to $1,000 per successful referral of a full-time staff member or $500 per successful referral of a part-time staff member. A one-time payment of $250 ($125 if referring a part-time applicant) 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. An additional one-time payment of $750 ($375 if a staff member is referring a part-time applicant) 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. Awards may be applied over multiple pay periods if the award would increase pay above the maximum amount allowed by the pay range.

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 members except those designated as Missouri Department of Corrections recruiters or staff members representing MODOC at recruiting events.


Division of Adult Institutions Revises Zone Director Assignments

Effective Aug. 1, 2022, Division of Adult Institutions (DAI) facilities, programs and units are divided into three zones, with a deputy division director overseeing each.

Zone 1

Ryan Crews: Boonville Correctional Center (BCC), Chillicothe Correctional Center (CCC), Crossroads Correctional Center (CRCC), Fulton Reception & Diagnostic Center (FRDC), Moberly Correctional Center (MCC), Maryville Treatment Center (MTC), Northeast Correctional Center (NECC), Tipton Correctional Center (TCC); Women's Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center (WERDCC), Western Missouri Correctional Center (WMCC) and Western Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center (WRDCC).

Zone II

Jason Lewis: Algoa Correctional Center (ACC), Farmington Correctional Center (FCC), Jefferson City Correctional Center (JCCC), Ozark Correctional Center (OCC), Potosi Correctional Center (PCC), South Central Correctional Center (SCCC), Southeast Correctional Center (SECC), Missouri Eastern Correctional Center (MECC) and the Security Intelligence Unit (SIU).

Zone III

Vevia Sturm: Project Management, Religious & Spiritual Programming, Corrections Records Technician, Library Services, Special Programs

Other Reassignments

DAI Director Travis Terry supervises Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center (ERDCC).

DAI Assistant Director Melissa Scheulen supervises the Central Transfer Authority (CTA).

Greener Practices

Nominate a State Recycling Champion


State team members have made enormous strides in reducing the amount of material Missouri agencies send to the landfill. Please consider taking a few minutes to nominate for special recognition individuals or teams who have contributed to this effort.

The Recycling Champion Award recognizes state agencies and employees for outstanding contributions in the areas of waste reduction and recycling.

  • Does your nominee promote recycling in your workplace?
  • Do they make sure your office or agency has products made from recycled materials?
  • Have they reduced waste for your agency?
  • Do they promote reuse? Are they an active user of the online application MOREuse?

Nominate a recycling champion or team here. Review last year’s winners on our website, or view a complete list of award recipients. Questions? Email the MSRP at


Applications are open for the next Post Critical Incident Seminar (PCIS), to be held Nov. 2-4 in Columbia.

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 way we look at the world and may make it difficult to return to our normal level of daily functioning.

This event brings together corrections personnel with similar experiences to begin or further their recovery process, turning trauma into strength. Behavioral health service providers from outside the Department of Corrections, as well as specially trained peers familiar with corrections culture, will facilitate support.

Participants in the first PCIS, held in May 2022, rated the event 9.4 on a 10-point scale and credited the experience with changing, or even saving, their lives.

Space is limited to 20 corrections staff members, plus one additional support person per participant. Administrative leave is granted to all MODOC participants, and lodging, meals and travel expenses are covered. Applications are accepted Aug. 1 through Sept. 30. To apply, complete the form on the MODOC intranet page.

A Little Help From Our Friends

Newest Staff Challenge Promotes Social Wellness


From July through October, Missouri Department of Corrections employee wellness efforts focus on social wellnesshow we treat ourselves and each other. Social wellness involves creating and sustaining healthy, supportive relationships and connecting with others to build community. During difficult times, our relationships can offer support.

If you need social wellness support or guidance, call 800-808-2261 to reach, the SELF Program, our employee assistance program. This is a great place to start when creating goals for improved wellness.

Thanks to everyone who took part in the Kindness Counts challenge, held July 1-31. Participants documented acts of kindness they observed or performed and were entered to into a drawing to win Kindness Counts bundles, each of which contains two coffee mugs, two journals and two pens one for the winner and one to share.


What is a P.A.C.T. Leader?


Each Division of Adult Institutions facility and Probation & Parole region has its own P.A.C.T. leader. P.A.C.T. leaders serve as the primary contacts for the peer support team at that site. They market the P.A.C.T. program and maintain a team roster that is readily accessible to all staff. They assist in mobilizing their P.A.C.T. teams when necessary after stressful events and help ensure that all appropriate follow-up is completed. P.A.C.T. leaders serve as liaisons to the P.A.C.T. coordinator at Central Office.

Who is the P.A.C.T. Leader Where I Work?

ACC - Aimee Echols; BCC - April Fountain; CCC - Teresa DeSpain, Teresa Lark; Eastern Region, District 8N - Gregory Wilson; ERDCC - Carrie Sederstrom, Tonya Todd; FCC - Jerrel Hollinger, Jesse Maxey; FRDC - William "Craig" Bauer; JCCC - Derek Pliska; MCC - Boshko Ognenovski; MECC - Juli Patterson; MTC - Tara Murphy; North Central Region, District 29 - Sarah Lee; Northeast Region, District 26 - Traca Martin; NECC - Carl Ulrich; OCC - Mark Krause, Robert Nevels; PCC - Brandon Johnson, David Montgomery, Melanie Boyer; SCCC - Brian Patton, Karen Wrinkles; Southeast Region, District 15 - Catherine Jones; SECC - Hollie Vandergriff, Jesse May; Southwest Region, District 44 - Nancy Foulke; TCC - Debbie Thimmesch; TCKC - Theresa Kent; TCSTL - Gregory Wilson; Western Region, District 4W - Angel Mathes; WERDCC - David Duckworth, Rachel Hayden; WMCC - Lisa Clark; WRDCC - Heather Berry.

Training Academy Updates

New Learning Management System Goes Live


We're transforming training.

The Missouri Department of Corrections has launched a new learning management system designed to streamline staff training and development. Called the Department of Corrections Guide to Professional Success, or DOC.GPS, the web-based system serves as a user-friendly tool for managing in-seat and online training. Your DOC.GPS dashboard is tailored to you — your job type, your division, your work site and your assigned trainings.

All staff have been sent an email message with instructions for accessing DOC.GPS accounts. Check your email for a message with the subject line "Noverant Online - Welcome!"

Need help? Contact

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:

Boonville Correctional Center Ambassadors

Boonville Correctional Center ambassadors

The BCC Corrections Way ambassadors team includes Cassandra Richards, Deanna Berry, Kevin Ownby, Glenda Pratt, Ashley Wells, Dan Grover, Wesley Wells, Luke Haller, Tim Cook, Rhonda Jackson, April Weaver, Thomas Peth, Melissa Boss and Clayton Williamson.

The Boonville Correctional Center Corrections Way Ambassadors team has been breathing new energy into TCW efforts. With the recent completion of frontline staff training, the team is spring-boarding off staff members’ eagerness to use their new skills and is hard at work creating activities around that energy.


A recent BCC Ambassadors project is a “What’s your Style” board through which staff members share their communication styles, fostering better understanding and strengthening the team dynamic. "What’s your Style” closes with an “Ice for Information” day, during which participants earn a frozen pop ice by demonstrating knowledge of their coworkers' styles.

The ambassador team has been working with section heads to tailor workshops to meet the needs of the individual sections. The small-group dynamics allow for more focused support.

In addition, the team has coordinated with Senior Staff Training Development Specialist Jamie Jepsen to implement workshops in which ambassadors hone their presentation skills and build their confidence.

BCC ambassadors improve communication by leading “Take Ten” sessions that offer frontline staff, supervisors and administrators the chance to engage in loosely structured focus groups on topics such as workplace culture and ENGAGE sessions. These sessions not only foster understanding but also generate new ideas and help strengthen relationships through open dialogue. They also help identify gaps to be filled in the culture and areas of focus for future activities.


The ambassadors team recently partnered with the administrative team and personnel club to host a fish fry for staff members. The warden and ambassadors also partnered to deliver breakfast burritos to first-shift staff members.

Plans for future activities include getting-to-know-you scavenger hunts, a game day with a dunking booth and a TCW Family Feud competition.

Ambassadors will visit the basic academy TCW classes to share their stories about what it means to be an ambassador. They also continue to use monthly workshops and “Take Ten” sessions to ensure TCW skills and tools are ingrained in BCC culture.


Strategic Plan


The state’s business cycle runs on a fiscal year timeframe, this year from July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023 (FY2023). Each year we articulate our priorities to support better government in Missouri through our strategic plan. In fiscal year 2023, 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.


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.