Staff Newsletter | October 2022

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missouri department of corrections

Employee Newsletter | October 2022

Coming Together

Conference Season Unites Corrections Pros


Conference season is underway for corrections professionals!

Last month Governor Mike Parson helped Director Anne Precythe kick off the Missouri Corrections Association and Missouri Probation and Parole Association Fall Conference at the Lake of the Ozarks, where corrections team members joined behavioral health specialists, researchers, students, public figures and community partners for three days of sessions. MODOC presenters and presentations included Meckenzie Hayes and Caitlin Rudolph on trauma-informed care; Crystal Atkinson and Kim Davis on human trafficking; and Shannon Lee on security threat groups.

Ready to learn? Upcoming opportunities for professional development and networking include the Show-Me Excellence Summit Oct. 4 and the Missouri Reentry Conference Nov. 2-4.

Employee Appreciation Week

Corrections Teams Take Time for Food, Fun & Friends


In a challenging environment like corrections, it's essential that we take time out to celebrate successes and have a little fun. During Corrections Employee Appreciation Week, Sept. 12-16, staff at worksites throughout the state held special events designed to build bonds among teams and show appreciation for colleagues.

Food was a popular draw statewide. Worksites served breakfast, hosted cookouts, and invited food trucks and ice cream trucks to their locations. Games took center stage at many facilities, with competitive cornhole and ring toss tournaments pitting teammates against one another. Some sites went into full carnival mode, covering their grounds with giant inflatables.

Other highlights included backyard concerts, T-shirt and dress-down days, wellness walks, craft fairs, pie-in-the-face events, and even a more formal challenge coin presentation respectfully recognizing top-performing staff.

Thank you to organizers and support staff for all you did to make the week special for your team.

Community Gratitude


To help us celebrate Corrections Employee Appreciation Week, Moberly area kids created these heartwarming posters, thanking Moberly Correctional Center staff for the work they do to change lives and make our communities safer.

The artwork came from students of Salisbury R-IV School District Elementary, North Park Elementary, Renick R-V School District Elementary and Shelby Co. R-IV Schools.

Continuous Improvement

Statewide Summit Emphasizes Trust, Empowerment, Action and Mentorship


Join us Tuesday, Oct. 4, for the 2022 Show Me Excellence Virtual Summit, featuring Director Anne Precythe and Deputy Director Matt Sturm as speakers.

Designed to coordinate state government agencies' efforts to provide excellent service to the people of Missouri, the summit highlights improved processes, efficiencies and best practices that help state team members optimize the work they do and get the best possible results.

This year's theme is One T.E.A.M. (Trust, Empowerment, Action and Mentorship). Sessions focus on how to foster healthy and productive work environments so that team members can, in turn, serve fellow citizens with excellence.

Summit attendees will hear agency success stories, listen to inspirational speakers and take part in virtual breakout sessions. In a concluding panel discussion, state government leaders will share how they have implemented a management operating rhythm to improve the performance of their organizations. 

Hosted by the Office of Administration and Operational Excellence department leaders, the summit is available virtually to all State of Missouri team members at no cost.

Register now »

Reentry Rally

Reentry Conference Returns to the Lake


After two years of meeting online, the Missouri Reentry Conference will be held in person this year at the Lodge of the Four Seasons, Lake of the Ozarks. The 2022 conference theme, "Reimagining Reentry," focuses on clients' changing needs and expectations, adjustments to delivery of services, implementation of new programs, and recruitment and retention of staff.

Conference hosts include the Missouri Department of Corrections, the Missouri Department of Social Services, the Family and Community Trust (FACT), and Area Resources for Community and Human Services (ARCHS).

Register now »

September 2022 Employee of the Month


Joseph Rackovan, a lieutenant at Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center, has been named employee of the month for September 2022.

When it comes to developing staff retention strategies, Rackovan is ready to take action. Recognizing the link between high-quality leadership and high staff retention rates, he presented to his admin team a plan to train ERDCC supervisors in Leadership by Design, a strategic program that evaluates each person’s leadership style and helps leaders best apply their attributes in the workplace. Rackovan then developed staff surveys, planning documents, lesson plans and talking points aimed at improving staff retention. He also represented the Missouri Department of Corrections in a multi-state Corrections Way summit, distinguishing himself with positivity and professionalism.

Rackovan’s dedication to problem-solving and willingness to take initiative are helping to transform corrections culture and make our department a better place to work.

Honoring a Hero

Governor Mike Parson Presents Award to Division Director


Division of Adult Institutions Director Travis Terry has been honored with the Public Safety Civilian Partnership Award, presented by Governor Mike Parson during the 2022 Missouri Public Safety Medals ceremony.

While traveling on Missouri Highway 54, Terry observed a Callaway County sheriff’s deputy being assaulted along the side of the road. Terry pulled over, darted across four lanes of traffic and, along with fellow civilian passer-by Joshua James-Troutt, helped apprehend the assailant just as he was reaching for the deputy’s gun.

Learn more about law enforcement officers and other MIssourians honored with public safety awards for acts of heroism performed in 2021.

Launching a Program

Taylor Hagenhoff Named Nursery Program Manager

Taylor Hagenhoff

Taylor Hagenhoff has been appointed program manager for the department's nascent prison nursery program, effective October 1, 2022.

During the 2022 legislative session, the Missouri General Assembly passed legislation requiring the department to establish a correctional center nursery program ,no later than July 1, 2025, to serve offenders who deliver babies while in the department’s custody. The program will be located at the Women’s Eastern Reception Diagnostic & Correctional Center in Vandalia. Hagenhoff will be responsible for the planning, implementation and oversight of the program, reporting to Central Office during the development phase.

Hagenhoff began her career in the Missouri Department of Corrections at Moberly Correctional Center, where she started as a case manager in August 2018 before being promoted to functional unit manager in February 2021. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Columbia College and a master’s degree in forensic psychology from Arizona State University.

Making Magic

Corrections Chooses Charities for Fundraising Campaign


The Missouri State Employees Charitable Campaign (MSECC) is now underway. 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.


Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe joined Central Office staff for the corrections campaign kickoff, where staff were treated to breakfast and, embracing this year's campaign theme, "Caring is Magical," a magic show by the local Gilliam Family Illusions. 

Kehoe, who serves as the campaign chairman this year, said charitable campaign giving among Missouri state government employees has steadily declined in recent years. 2020 marked the lowest amount of money pledged, the lowest number of donors and, at 6.8%, the lowest participation rate.


Noting that there's strength in numbers, Director Anne Precythe announced a department-wide goal of 20% staff participation in this year's campaign; if achieved, it would be the highest participation rate in recent history.

In such a large department, it also would make a big difference for a local nonprofit. For example, if 20% of the corrections team gives $1 per week to a charitable organization, in one year we will have contributed a potentially life-changing $80,000.

During the kickoff, corrections campaign organizers also announced the three organizations selected to benefit from our team's fundraising events:


To give to these or other charitable organizations through MSECC, 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.

Health, Safety & Wellbeing

Flu Season Preparation

Flu Banner

Flu season is on the way, and 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.

Health Care Plan Open Enrollment


Open enrollment is now underway for the Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan (MCHCP), the health insurance provider for Missouri state government employees. If you want to enroll in state employee health benefits or make changes to your current plan, NOW is the time. Open enrollment for 2023 ends Oct. 31, 2022. New coverage and changes to coverage go into effect Jan. 1, 2023.

Confused about your options? No worries. Missouri Department of Corrections Personnel walks you through the benefits in this animated video.

Throughout October, you also can access webinars, booklets, how-to videos, customer service contacts and more at the MCHCP website, Still have questions? Contact the Office of Personnel at 573-526-6484.

Watch the video »

Social Wellness


October is the last month of our Social Wellness awareness campaign. Social wellness refers to the relationships we have and how we interact with others. Surrounding yourself with good people, practicing healthy self-support routines, practicing better communication and getting involved with your community are ways to improve social wellness.

One easy way to get involved with your community is to volunteer — at food banks, churches, schools, community events, parks, shelters, within your neighborhood, etc. MODOC Wellness wants to recognize staff who meet the challenge. During October, use this form to enter the hours you have spent volunteering in your community. One entry per person, per day. In November, entries will be totaled by name, and prizes will be awarded to first-, second- and third-place winners.

Suicide Prevention


The Missouri Department of Corrections continues to prioritize the mental health and wellbeing of our staff and to improve the support we provide to team members in need.

Corrections staff die by suicide at a higher rate than the general public, including fellow first responders. That is why the department is adopting the ZERO Suicide framework, a comprehensive approach to suicide care developed by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention.

Implementing this approach and building on existing staff wellness initiatives will begin a necessary culture shift away from fragmented and stigmatized suicide care and toward a more holistic and improved commitment to safety. This approach is neither a new training nor a "one and done" campaign; it's an entire framework for addressing this important issue. The department will use best-practice standards to ensure it is done right.

The department has established a ZERO Suicide framework and strategy team, led by representatives from every division. Look for more information in the coming months.

If you have questions, please contact Meckenzie Hayes at or 573-526-3021.

Download the ZERO Suicide flyer »

Remember, the only acceptable number of suicides, is ZERO.

Trauma Treatment


The next Post Critical Incident Seminar (PCIS) is scheduled for 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 were accepted Aug. 1 through Sept. 30. Questions? Contact Meckenzie Hayes at or 573-526-3021.

P.A.C.T. Facts


A second class of P.A.C.T. leaders and members has completed Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) training! This training follows the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF) model for crisis intervention and response. The Missouri Department of Corrections has at least one person trained in CISM in each geographic area, thus improving our response to potentially traumatic events. As circumstances allow, we will continue to train additional team members.

If you have ideas for ways to improve P.A.C.T. and the services offered, please send them to!

Training Academy Updates

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 3 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 Officer Alex Perez from Boonville Correctional Center (BCC), Officer Danilo Clemente from Women's Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center (WERDCC), Chaplain Kristina Deneve from Missouri Eastern Correctional Center (MECC) and Officer April Gramenz from Chillicothe Correctional Center (CCC). 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!

Over the past three months, The Corrections Way team has been busy training new ambassadors. We now have 299! Please give our new ambassadors a warm welcome and be on the lookout for ambassador activities at your worksite location!


The Western Region Corrections Way Ambassador Boot Camp was held Aug. 9-10 at Crossroads Correctional Center in Cameron, facilitated by Senior Staff Development Training Specialists Jamie Jepsen and Ashley Golden, Supervisory Specialist Ashley Thieme, and Adjunct Trainers Danny Engle and Carissa Mitchell. New ambassadors include Hans Brosam from the Transition Center of Kansas City; Samantha Green from Western Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center; Crystal Burnett, Laney McCall, Noah Montgomery and Deborah Pratt from Western Missouri Correctional Center; and Dezaree Curtis from the Division of Human Services.


The Central Region Corrections Way Ambassador Boot Camp was held Aug.24-25 at the Central Region Training Center in Jefferson City, facilitated by Senior Staff Development Training Specialists Jamie Jepsen and Ashley Golden, Supervisory Specialist Ashley Thieme, and Adjunct Trainer Patricia Wickey. New ambassadors include Thomas Peth, Glenda Pratt, April Weaver and Ashley L Wells from Boonville Correctional Center; Timothy J. Brown and Eric Griffith from Ozark Correctional Center;  Michelle Biesemeyer from Fulton Reception & Diagnostic Center; Kelsey Taylor from Women's Eastern Reception & Diagnostic Center; Anthony L Brown, Michelle Marsh and Rebecca Ulrich from Northeast Region Probation & Parole; Jaclyn Shipma from the Division of Offender Rehabilitative Services; and Sara Hicks from the Office of Professional Standards.

bootcamp - eastern

The Eastern Region Corrections Way Ambassador Boot Camp was held Aug.30-31 at the Farmington Correctional Center Training Center in Farmington, facilitated by Senior Staff Development Training Specialist Ashley Golden, Supervisory Specialist Shereda Smith, and Adjunct Trainer Art Holmes. New ambassadors include Mason Farrell and Jennifer Humphrey from Northeast Region Probation & Parole; Scott Barron from Eastern Region Probation & Parole; Kristi Sartori, Audrey Singleton and Sara Wilkinson from Southeast Region Probation & Parole; Rhonada Granger, Ashley Roddy and Antonio Crothers from the Transition Center of St. Louis; Steven Francis, Rachel Gettinger, Daniel Adams and Nita Dunn from Potosi Correctional Center; Ashley Downs and Adrienne Warren from Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center; April Link, Robert Keay and Joshua Willis from Farmington Correctional Center; and Karen Lutes from the Eastern Region Training Center.

Programming a Better Future

Mindfulness & Meditation


Last month guest speaker Timber Hawkeye, bestselling author of 'Buddhist Boot Camp,' visited Boonville Correctional Center with Central Methodist University Professor of Communications Kristin Cherry.

Hawkeye presented a secular mindfulness practice designed to awaken, enlighten, enrich and inspire participants.

Family Ties


Moberly Correctional Center recently held its first honor visit, an innovation recommended by Prison Research and Innovation Network (PRIN) offender-advisers. Held outside regular visiting days, honor visits give qualifying offenders the chance to spend time with loved ones in outdoor recreation areas or share meals and games inside.

This innovation strengthens bonds among families and incentivizes positive behaviors, rewarding MCC residents who complete positive programming, participate in volunteer and Restorative Justice activities, and are free of recent conduct violations. The visit had a significant impact on families. One dad drove 13 hours to see his son, and a wife got to experience being outdoors with her husband for the first time.

Musical Magic


To boost morale over Labor Day weekend, Tipton Correctional Center hosted a live outdoor concert for offenders.

The ensembles Alpine Drive and the Matthew Cunningham Band performed music in a variety of genres, while the audience enjoyed free popsicles and purchased sandwiches.

Feeding the Community


District 2 Probation & Parole Officer Jolene Miller has created a new project to help ease community food insecurity.

Miller enlisted the vocational woodworking program at Western Missouri Correctional Center to build tiny food pantries as a way to provide convenient pickup of donated non-perishable food and hygiene items.

The cabinets will be placed in multiple P&P offices, where members of the community as well as staff can make donations and people in need can easily access them.

Miller also arranged for a donation of recycled Plexiglas donated by the local courthouse after COVID restrictions were removed.

Building Strong Families


Probation & Parole District 5 staff recently volunteered at the HUD Building Strong Families Annual Opportunity Fair, hosted by the Nevada Housing Authority in partnership with Double K Country, the City of Nevada and the Osage Prairie YMCA.

The event aims to build strong families through economic empowerment, education, health awareness and leadership building. More than 25 community partners, including Probation & Parole, participated.


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

Show Your Teammates Some Appreciation


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


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