Staff Newsletter | February 2023

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missouri department of corrections

Employee Newsletter | February 2023

Pay Raise Proposed

Governor Parson Recommends Staff Pay Increase


During his Jan. 18 State of the State address to the Missouri General Assembly, Governor Mike Parson outlined his budget priorities for coming fiscal year.

As part of his budget proposal, Governor Parson has recommended an 8.7% cost-of-living pay increase for all state team members, with a recommended March 1 start date.

In addition, the Governor is proposing an increase in shift differential pay for corrections staff, regardless of title. The proposed shift differential would increase to $2 per hour, which totals more than $4,000 in a year.

If this plan is approved, the investment in pay increases for Missouri Department of Corrections staff since 2017 will total $174,815,656.

Corrections Staff Salaries

If approved by the Missouri General Assembly, the Governor's pay increase proposal would have a significant impact on corrections staff. Here are a few examples of how the proposed pay plan would change salaries:

  • Correctional Officer (COI) starting salary would be $41,306. With 10 years of service, a COI would earn $43,371. If that officer works first or third shift, the annual pay would be $47,531.
  • Office Support Assistant (OSA) starting salary would be $33,914. With 10 years of service, an OSA would earn $35,610.
  • Probation and Parole Officer (PPO) starting salary would be $45,382. With 10 years of service, a PPO would earn $47,651.
  • Case Manager (CCM) would earn a starting salary of $45,382. With 10 years of service, a case manager would earn $47,651.

Public Safety Priorities

Other budget priorities recommended by Governor Parson for improving public safety in Missouri include $1.55 million to convert Western Missouri Correctional Center into a residential staff training academy housing all training programs currently located in St. Joseph, as well as custody-specific hard-skills training; $122,220 for equipment and training to expand the Probation & Parole Arrest Program; $10.2 million for constructing a new 60-bed community supervision center in Southwest Missouri to provide community-based, short term interventions for people on probation and parole; and $5.9 million for corrections employee support resources, including additional employee health nurses, front-line supervisors and human resources specialists, resources for staff support following traumatic events, and resources for ongoing staff well-being programs and services.


During the State of the State Address, Governor Parson also highlighted the Missouri Blue Scholarship, which was created in 2022 to help attract more Missourians to law enforcement careers by paying $5,000 toward the cost of a Missouri resident attending a law enforcement academy in the state. He recognized as special guests scholarship recipients Rachel Kelley and Samuel Altom. Officer Kelley is a part-time correctional officer at Western Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center (WRDCC) in St. Joseph. Thanks to the funding provided by the scholarship and the flexibility offered by the Department of Corrections, Officer Kelley is able to serve the people of Missouri while completing her law enforcement education. Learn more about the Missouri Blue Scholarship »

Review highlights of the Governor's budget proposal in the 2024 Budget in Brief »

November 2022 Employee of the Month


Kyle King, a probation and parole officer at District 6, has been named employee of the month for November 2022.

King never misses a chance to help someone in need. He regularly goes the extra mile when he senses trouble, on and off the job.

While passing through a mobile home park on his way to visit a client, King noticed smoke rising from a nearby home’s window. He banged on the door to alert the inhabitants and then, receiving no response, entered the burning home and ushered the resident and his pets to safety. During another home visit, King spotted a man dragging a woman into a house and promptly called 911 to request a welfare check, helping to ensure the woman’s safety. While on the road, he and another officer noticed a lawnmower in danger of falling off a fellow motorist’s moving vehicle and alerted the driver, preventing an accident. On yet another occasion, on his way home from work, King stopped to help a stranded motorist, even though the stop would mean getting home late.

King sets the standard for public service and serves as a role model for corrections staff.

December 2022 Employee of the Month


Darrell Wagganer, Investigator II at Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center (ERDCC), has been named employee of the month for December 2022.

Wagganer is determined to keep dangerous contraband out of Missouri prisons. When he was asked to look into allegations that a staff member was distributing drugs among offenders at his facility, he dedicated extra time and resources to the investigation, spending hours reviewing surveillance video and meeting with local, state and federal agencies to coordinate efforts.

Working with the Security Intelligence Unit, Wagganer tracked down a post office box that a staff member was using to receive packages from a civilian. He then worked with a United States postal inspector to identify the origin of the packages. Ultimately he joined forces with the Mineral Area Drug Task Force to intercept a package containing illegal narcotics, knives, cell phones, lighters and tobacco products as well as thousands of dollars in cash. Six offenders were identified as members of the distribution ring. Thanks to Wagganer’s efforts, the dangerous contraband was kept out of the facility, likely saving lives.

Corrections Heroes

Staff & Offender Recognized with Lifesaver Awards


Every day the people in Missouri Department of Corrections facilities dedicate themselves to protecting the safety and wellbeing of fellow Missourians. Some go the extra mile, performing heroic and lifesaving measures. Congratulations to recent Lifesaver Award winners.

When Western Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center (WRDCC) Officer Kevin Stanley, responding to an emergency call, discovered an offender with lacerations to his wrists, he provided aid until medical staff arrived. Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center (ERDCC) offender Christopher Smith performed the Heimlich maneuver on an officer who was choking. Algoa Correctional Center presented Lifesaver Awards to Correctional Case Manager Jonathan Morgan, Sergeant Ryan Derby, Correctional Officer I Regelio Ortiz, Lieutenant Justin Wyatt, Correctional Case Manager Cheryl Haase, Correctional Officer I Cody Kimbro, Correctional Officer I Chris Yager and Recreation Officer David Jaggie.

New Head Chef

Aramark Takes Over Corrections Food Service, Offers Perks for Staff

The Missouri Department of Corrections has finalized a contract with the vendor Aramark Correctional Services to oversee food service in state correctional facilities, including adult institutions and transition centers. The move comes with some advantages for corrections staff.


Food Service Staff

Staff working in food service have two options for their continued employment.

  • They can continue working for the State of Missouri and keep their salaries and state benefits, including retention pay and retirement benefits.
  • They can become Aramark employees and earn a salary at least 20% higher than their current pay rate, with staff starting at or above $41,932.

Cook-chill facilities will no longer be in operation. Current cook-chill staff will meet with central office staff and Aramark to determine other job placement opportunities.

All Staff

Aramark will operate staff dining cafés at Department of Corrections worksites. Each café will be located in a renovated and upgraded environment and will offer a menu of freshly prepared food items at a discounted rate. Staff who prefer the state tray can continue to access that option for free.


Aramark provides training and professional certification for offenders working in food service and offers opportunities for internships and jobs after release.

Trauma Care Continues

Two Seminars Planned for 2023

PCIS - MAY 2023

Apply now to join fellow corrections team members for an opportunity to learn about the effects of trauma and explore methods of resolution, recovery and resilience building through a Post-Critical Incident Seminar (PCIS).

PCIS is a three-day intensively focused therapeutic event designed to assist corrections personnel who have experienced 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 corrections personnel with similar experiences together to begin or further the recovery process, turning trauma into strength. Behavioral health service providers from outside the department, as well as specially trained peers familiar with corrections culture, facilitate support.

There is no cost to attend. Attendance is limited. Applicants will be screened to determine eligibility.

Participants in past PCIS events rated the seminars 9.4 on a 10-point scale and credited the experience with changing, or even saving, their lives.

Apply now »



  • May 16-18, 2023
  • Oct. 24-26, 2023


Contact Meckenzie Hayes

Joyful Journaling

New Wellness Challenge Celebrates Writing for Stress Management


Join MODOC Wellness for the Write On spiritual wellness challenge Feb. 1 – March 15, and share how keeping a journal has helped to boost your mind-and-body connection.

A consistent journaling practice can help you move thoughts onto paper to process them more clearly. Throughout 2022, 10,000 journals were distributed among corrections staff statewide, and many employees have reported a positive change as a result of keeping a journal as a stress management tool. Now we're asking you to share your experiences to celebrate journaling and encourage teammates to try it.

Between Feb. 1 and March 15, visit this site to answer the question "How has journaling helped you?". You can also email your response to:

In March, 20 random participants will be selected to receive a MODOC Wellness pen. Responses will also be shared to help raise awareness about this healthy and helpful habit.

PACT Facts

Regional Meetings Bring PACT Leaders Together


In November 2022, Meckenzie Hayes held PACT leader meetings throughout the state. Probation & Parole North Central Region PACT Leader Sarah Lee helped lead in-person meetings at Jefferson City Correctional Center, Moberly Correctional Center, Crossroads Correctional Center, the Transition Center of Kansas City, Southeast Correctional Center, Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center and District 10R.

These meetings provided a time for participants to get creative and share new ideas to improve PACT. Specific topics included: the current status and future rollout of Critical Incident Stress Management strategies; support for new and transferring staff; support for families; and cross-divisional responses. PACT leaders networked to develop relationships that help improve future responses to serious incidents and worksite needs. Recommendations are currently under review, and notification of any changes will be forthcoming.

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. 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.

As we work to roll out the framework, please use currently available resources if you are in crisis or want to help someone who is.

Local, regional and national organizations offer mental health and crisis resources for specific communities. Review these options to learn what's available for you or someone you know.




LGBTQ+ Community

Black Community

Survivor Support Groups

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

Download the ZERO Suicide flyer »

First Responder Series

Animated Video Series Supports Staff

The Department of Mental Health has released the First Responder Wellness Animated Series, a set of videos designed to educate first responder professionals about trauma exposure and wellness strategies. Lessons are 1-2 minutes long and cover 20 different topics. Watch them alone, share them with peers, use them for team discussions, or talk with your family about them. Check out the DMH YouTube Channel First Responders Playlist.

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!

Southeast Region Corrections Way Ambassadors


Since The Corrections Way was launched, regional leaders have invested time in staff development, starting with those who value the core pillars of TCW: trust, respect and rapport. Beginning with two unit supervisors attending the TCW boot camp in 2019, the Southeast Region Ambassadors team has grown to an astonishing 11 ambassadors, with plans to add more.


With the oversight of Regional Administrator Don Arias and Regional Training Coordinator Jason Royle, ambassadors made pushing the message a priority, and a monthly newsletter was created to spread positive messages and meaningful tips related to TCW concepts. Many supervisors use it during Engage sessions to promote quality conversations.

In early 2020, the ambassadors team proposed the idea of going to area districts to hold workshops for supervisors. With the onset of COVID, the team began hosting Zoom-based meetings and quarterly workshops. The expectation was for every supervisor in the Southeast Region to attend one session per quarter. The team continues to hold Zoom sessions and keep TCW concepts at the forefront.


In late 2021, the team branched out and added an ambassador specifically for job coaches in the region, followed in 2022 by a workshop specifically for job coaches. The shining star of the region, however, was the development of a summit.

In early 2022, discussions began related to hosting a gathering to address the concepts of TCW. At a two-day event in June 2022, workshops were held with a focus on specific topics important to staff. Guest speakers covered topics such as case planning and the Missouri Offender Management Matrix (MOMM). Day One of the summit included Southeast Region probation and parole officers from both the field and the institutions. Day Two included in-person workshops for the region's supervisors. Response to the summit was overwhelmingly positive.

In 2023, the team plans to add more ambassadors and expand workshops even further to include team members looking to promote. The second summit is the works for August and will prove to be bigger and better than the first. This team will continue to reach above what is expected and lead the way.

Training Academy Updates

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 8 and Class 9 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 Charles Killian from Northeast Correctional Center (NECC), Dennis Lingle from Farmington Correctional Center (FCC), Gary Blakely from Western Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center (WRDCC), Owen Gray from Fulton Reception & Diagnostic Center (FRDC), Richard Gerrish from Potosi Correctional Center (PCC) and Daisy Meade from Crossroads Correctional Center (CRCC). 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.

Funding for Education

Scholarship Opportunity Opens for Corrections Staff and Families


Applications are open now for the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation (CPOF) scholarship. Scholarships are available for CPOF members and their spouses, children, stepchildren and grandchildren.

Eligible applicants have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, U.S. citizenship or legal residency, and financial need. Candidates must be enrolled full time in a two-year or four-year college. Scholarships are awarded based on merit and eligibility. The application period runs through April 14, 2023. To learn more or submit an application, visit.


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

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.