Staff Newsletter | May 2023

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missouri department of corrections

Employee Newsletter | May 2023

Transition Center Triumph

Governor Visits, Congratulates TCKC Team


Governor Mike Parson stopped by the Transition Center of Kansas City last week to congratulate the team on their one-year anniversary as a residential probation and parole facility — and on earning the Brick by Brick award from the Kansas City Industrial Council (KCIC). 


The Governor met with TCKC administrators, staff, community partners and residents; toured the classrooms and recreation facilities; and took time to talk football with fellow Chiefs fans ahead of the NFL draft.

Last year TCKC staff transformed a former minimum-security prison into the transition center, remodeling and repurposing the facility to create a more therapeutic environment.

Approximately 60 men currently live at TCKC, where they learn interpersonal skills through the Center for Conflict Resolution, gain employability skills through partners such as Goodwill Industries International and Connections to Success, and develop life skills through classes in areas ranging from financial management to yoga, which also are open to new staff.

Reentry Renaissance

Missouri Makes History as First State to Join National Reentry 2030


On April 19, Missouri became the first state in the U.S. to join Reentry 2030, a national initiative that aims to dramatically improve reentry success for people exiting prison and those on probation and parole.


Corrections professionals packed the Jefferson City venue where the collaboration was launched, welcoming leaders from the Council of State Governments Justice Center and the federal Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance, as well as Governor Mike Parson and members of his cabinet. Each participating state agency made a commitment to supporting and streamlining the reentry process, improving access to everything from identification documents and medical services to transportation and technology.

Fellow state agencies' contributions provide the wrap-around services that buoy the Missouri Department of Corrections employment-focused goal:

By 2030, we will expand collaborations and partnerships with public and private entities to connect incarcerated Missourians to employment and to prepare them to maintain their employment. We aim for 100% of incarcerated Missourians who need career services to receive them; 85% of formerly incarcerated Missourians to be employed within 30 days of release; and 80% of formerly incarcerated Missourians to maintain their employment for at least nine months after release.

Workforce Investment


Governor Mike Parson applauded the cabinet members' collaborative vision and underscored that the principles of Reentry 2030 serve to improve the state's workforce, economy, families and communities.

Everyone makes mistakes, he said, and could benefit from a second chance.

"Most people are not bad people," Governor Parson said of Missourians leaving prison. "You never want to give up on the vast majority of people. Our job is to figure out how do we help them? That should be the first thing we think of. It's not about locking the doors. It's not about telling them what to do. It's about figuring out: 'How are we going to help you to reenter and stay in society?'"


Division of Offender Rehabilitative Services Director Valarie Moseley moderated a panel discussion featuring former offenders who have found success after release from prison. Trey Dawson, a former Puppies for Parole dog handler, owns and operates the Columbia dog-training business Backyard K9s while also serving as a peer support specialist for Burrell Behavioral Health and the Activities Coordinator for the the reentry organization In2action. Roy Farmer, a participant in the Improving Community Treatment Success (ICTS) program, works full time in the construction industry, has his own apartment and his own car, and is in the process of earning peer support specialist credentials.

Leading the Way


A recognized leader in reentry, in recent years the Missouri Department of Corrections has implemented new programs, forged new partnerships, and gathered tools and resources to help boost success rates for the more than 13,000 Missourians released from state prisons each year as well as the 53,000 on probation or parole.


In the last five years, progress has included:

  • Implementation of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, which aims to reduce incarceration and reinvest resultant savings in programs that help people succeed in the community
  • Transformation of the Transition Center of St. Louis (TCSTL) and conversion of a minimum-security prison into the Transition Center of Kansas City (TCKC); both residential probation and parole facilities follow a four-tiered program for readying Missourians to rejoin the community
  • Repurposing the state’s six community supervision centers and converting one into Missouri’s first residential probation and parole facility for women
  • Implementation of Improving Community Treatment Success (ICTS) programs in 12 counties to serve Missourians on probation and parole who have significant substance use disorders and require wrap-around support
  • Partnerships with multiple nonprofit organizations offering in-person, pre-release reentry programs that give people the skills they need to succeed after incarceration
  • Expansion of higher education partnerships to include a dozen colleges and universities providing degree programs in 17 adult institutions; more than 700 incarcerated students are enrolled each semester
  • Establishment of 11 reentry centers inside prisons, where offenders access housing and employment specialists and other resources
  • Special family days that give incarcerated Missourians who have earned honors the chance to bond with their kids and spend quality time engaged in activities with loved ones in yards and gyms instead of visiting rooms, improving the post-release family-reunification process.

Reentry expansions currently underway include extending reentry centers to 11 adult institutions; hiring an institutional reentry coordinator and employment transition specialist for each institutional reentry center; and adding centralized reentry supervisor and quality control coordinator positions. The newest reentry center opened at the end of April at Farmington Correctional Center (FCC).



Reentry 2030 Launch Video


Reentry 2030 in the News

Voice for Victims

Candlelight Vigil Commemorates National Crime Victims Rights Week

On April 25, the Missouri Department of Corrections commemorated National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) with a candlelight vigil at the Cole County Sheriff's Department.


Organized by the Office of Victim Services, the event centered around the 2023 NCVRW theme, Survivor Voices: Elevate. Engage. Effect Change, which calls upon communities to amplify the voices of survivors and create environments where survivors have confidence that they will be heard, believed and supported.

Speaker Jennifer Jones shared her story about surviving domestic violence, underscoring the vital role victim advocacy teams have played in helping her navigate the criminal justice system, secure protection from her attacker, prepare victim statements, attend legal proceedings, seek restitution and sign up for notifications through the Missouri Victim Automated Notification System (MOVANS). Her journey included support from MODOC Senior Victim Service Specialist Julie Loveall.


Jones now uses her experiences to educate other crime victims and ensure they get the help to which they're entitled. "We have layers of protection that most people aren’t aware of or can’t see," she says. "I live in fear of retaliation, and I live in shame. But every day I have an amazing support system that helps me overcome it.”

The Missouri Department of Corrections Office of Victim Services works to provide timely and accurate information, as well as advocacy and referral services, to crime victims, victims’ family members and crime witnesses. The office coordinates notification services and victim accessibility to departmental proceedings.

April 2023 Employee of the Month


Mike Suddarth, a staff development trainer in the north central region, has been named employee of the month for April 2023.

Suddarth knows how to use technology to improve the staff experience. When the regional training center unit began creating a digital library of how-to videos, Suddarth embraced the project. He took time to create a personalized introduction for each video.

He also employed his technical skills when the center was changing to a new training system, trouble-shooting issues and making the experience more user friendly for staff.

CIT Champ

Warden Hancock Earns Crisis Intervention Honors


Missouri Eastern Correctional Center (MECC) Warden Gregory Hancock has been named the recipient of the Franklin County Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Award. Nominated by Community Behavioral Health Liaison Tyler Czarnowski of Compass Health, Hancock was recognized for his efforts to engage his staff in mental health awareness and ensure that staff offer mental health assistance when needed.

Hancock is a longtime mental health champion. While at Southeast Correctional Center (SECC), he was instrumental in working with corrections trauma experts and a local agency to set up a grief support group for staff. At MECC, he has supported the department’s wellness, trauma, and crisis response efforts and has made all accommodations necessary to get any staff interested the assistance that they need.

Cheers to Our Chaplains

Clergy Convene


At the end of a busy period wherein Easter, Passover and Ramadan converged, prison clergy from throughout the state came together for an annual meeting and fellowship. Established in 1843, Missouri's prison chaplaincy provides spiritual services in Missouri correctional centers, including counseling; visits from community volunteers and clergy; religious dietary accommodations; a religious advisory council; worship services and studies; a chapel library; and special programming.

Big thanks to our Missouri Department of Corrections chaplain team: Steve Johnson (Southeast Correctional Center), David Watkins (Farmington Correctional Center), Lonnie Collins (South Central Correctional Center), Andrew Yocum (Maryville Treatment Center), Marty Sykes (Western Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center), Jeff Cokely (Tipton Correctional Center), Stephen Barbee (volunteer), Tristram McCormack (Boonville Correctional Center), WD Feese (Jefferson City Correctional Center), Kristina DeNeve (Missouri Eastern Correctional Center), Murray Phillips (Northeast Correctional Center), Greg Murphy (Chillicothe Correctional Center), Matt Mason (Crossroads Correctional Center), Preston Davis (Fulton Reception & Diagnostic Center), Doug Worsham (Religious/Spiritual Programming Coordinator), Mark Wilkinson (Potosi Correctional Center), Tom Brack (Moberly Correctional Center), Thom Reagan (Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center), Tommy Barnhart (Women's Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center), Aaron Davis (Ozark Correctional Center), Jeff Anderson (Algoa Correctional Center).

More about religious and spiritual services »

Operational Excellence Spring Summit

Weekly Webinar Series Runs Through May


Join the Missouri Department of Corrections Research, Planning & Process Improvement team throughout May 2023 for the Missouri Department of Corrections 2023 Spring Operational Excellence Summit. Tune in to video sessions to learn about the tools and skills used to make informed decisions, set goals, manage projects and implement improvements that make the department better.

May 3: Summit Kick-Off  |  MODOC Strategic Plan, 2023  |  MODOC OpEx Summit Preview

May 10: "Data in a Flash"  |  "Sticking to the Data"

May 17: "What's the Vision? Rapid Improvement Events"  |  "Project Management in a Snap"  |  "It's a Bird, It's a Plan, It's Strategic Initiatives"

May 24: Division Directors Round Table  |  Summit Wrapup

To access each session in the DOC GPS learning management system:

  1. Go to your training homepage by selecting the GPS icon on your desktop.
  2. Log in using Active Directory.
  3. In the top left section of the top bar select “Browse Catalog.”
  4. In the “Name” box, type in the name of the session.
  5. Select the session from the menu.
  6. Register.
  7. Select the launch button.
  8. Enjoy!

Please reach out if you need assistance.

Making Connections

Saving Lives


Two Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center (ERDCC) staff members recently earned recognition for extraordinary service.

Sergeant Kaydon Ketcherside and Nurse Onna Zancauske recently administered assistance that saved the life of an offender. Warden Richard Adams presented them with the department's Lifesaver Award.

Forging Family Traditions


For Easter 2023, the Farmington Correctional Center (FCC) personnel club hosted an egg hunt and Easter party for staff and their families.

Boy Scout Troop 549 of Desloge volunteered to fill 2,000 Easter eggs for the event, earning community service hours, and FCC families joined the Easter Bunny for a day of fun.

Reaping Rewards


To mark one year of the honors program at Algoa Correctional Center (ACC), staff and program participants celebrated with a barbecue, games and live music.

Established to incentivize positive behaviors, the honor dorm grants privileges to qualifying residents, including a dedicated recreation yard and day room, more freedom of movement, extended phone time, priority for premium paying jobs, and special recreation yard and gym visits with loved ones on honor visit days.

Since the program was implemented, ACC has seen a dramatic decline in conduct violations and disruptive behaviors throughout the facility.



Boonville Correctional Center (BCC) is connecting offender vocational programs with prospective employers.

Recently visitors from Boonslick Community Development Corporation, Boonslick Technical Education Center, State Fair Community College, Caterpillar, Kawasaki Maryville Plant, Boonville Daily News and other organizations toured BCC.

Guests visited vocational education, restorative justice, food service and Puppies for Parole operations, talked with staff, and met offender-students gaining skills and earning certifications that will prepare them to enter the workforce after release.

Caring for Kids


Boonville Correctional Center (BCC) continues to bring families together.

Last month, kids got the chance to spend one-on-one time with their dads, away from the visiting-room table and without additional guardians, as part of the Empowering Dads Embracing Fatherhood program run by BCC staff.

In these special visits, kids and dads connect and strengthen their bonds while playing games, having snacks, doing arts and crafts, and running around on the playground. This time they also met Orion, a Missouri Puppies for Parole dog.

Supporting Schools


When the Restorative Justice Organization at Western Missouri Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center (WRDCC) in St. Joseph learned that the nearby Helen Davis School for Severely Disabled was having a fundraiser, they jumped in to help.

The organization donated $1,500 to the school to help provide more shade to keep students cool when they're outside during the summer months.

PCIS Updates

Sessions Scheduled for May, October

PCIS - MAY 2023

Thank you to all members of the Missouri Department of Corrections team who have prioritized mental health by applying for the Post Critical Incident Seminar.

Applications for the May event are closed. Remaining applicants who have completed the screening process and meet the qualifications will be referred for the Oct. 24-26 session. Organizers are reviewing applications in the order received and will process them as quickly and thoroughly as possible to ensure that all members of our team get the help they need and that PCIS is a good fit for all attendees. Organizers will let you know when the application period reopens.

Meanwhile, please explore other resources available to first responders who have experienced trauma, including The Battle Within, Warriors’ Ascent, Strive Employee Life & Family, the Missouri Crisis Intervention Team Council First Responder Provider Network and our own Peer Action Care Teams. If you are currently in distress, please call or text 988 to get immediate help.

If you have questions about PCIS or other resources, please contact or call 573-526-3021.

About 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 participate. 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.

Behind PCIS


What are Post Critical Incident Seminars all about? Trauma Specialist Meckenzie Hayes explains the program's origins and outcomes, while Security Intelligence Unit Manager Stephanie Tandarich discusses her personal experiences, describing how PCIS has helped her process past critical incidents, better understand her value, and improve her personal relationships.

Watch the video »

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.


Anyone in crisis can contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) for assistance.

988 offers 24/7 call, text and chat access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing suicidal, substance use and/or mental health crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress.

People can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.

988 FAQ

Is 988 only for suicide-related crises? The Lifeline responds 24/7 to calls, chats or texts from anyone who needs support for suicidal, mental health, and/or substance use crisis, and connects those in need with trained crisis counselors.

What happens when I call 988? When calling 988, callers first hear a greeting message while their call is routed to the local Lifeline network crisis center (based on the caller’s area code). A trained crisis counselor answers the phone, listens to the caller, works to understand how their problem is affecting them, provides support, and shares resources if needed. If the local crisis center is unable to take the call, the caller is automatically routed to a national backup crisis center. The Lifeline provides live crisis center phone services in English and Spanish and uses Language Line Solutions to provide translation services in over 250 additional languages for people who call 988.

What happens when I chat via 988? Chat (English only) is available through the Lifeline’s website at People seeking chat services are provided a pre-chat survey before connecting with a counselor, who identifies the main area of concern. If there is a wait to chat with a crisis counselor, a wait-time message will appear. Once you are connected, a crisis counselor listens to you, works to understand how your problem is affecting you, provides support, and shares resources that may be helpful.

What happens when I text 988? When someone texts to 988, they are responded to by a group of Lifeline crisis centers that answer both chats and texts. Once you are connected, a crisis counselor listens to you, works to understand how your problem is affecting you, provides support, and shares resources that may be helpful.

Does the Lifeline really help? Yes, the Lifeline works. Numerous studies have shown that most Lifeline callers are significantly more likely to feel less depressed, less suicidal, less overwhelmed, and more hopeful after speaking to a Lifeline crisis counselor.

How is 988 different than 911? 988 was established to improve access to crisis services in a way that meets our country’s growing suicide and mental health-related crisis care needs. 988 provides easier access to the Lifeline network and related crisis resources, which are distinct from the public safety purposes of 911 (where the focus is on dispatching Emergency Medical Services, fire and police as needed). Currently, a small percentage of Lifeline calls require activation of the 911 system when there is imminent risk to someone’s life that cannot be reduced during the Lifeline call. In these cases, the crisis counselor shares information with 911 that is crucial to saving the caller’s life.

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

Download the ZERO Suicide flyer »

PACT Facts

One Department, One Team


Historically, the Department of Corrections Peer Action Care Team has operated as two separate teams, one for the Division of Adult Institutions and one for the Division of Probation & Parole. Now we're breaking down the silos, and any available PACT team member can be called on to respond to a situation affecting any division.

Other changes also are coming later this year:

  • By August 2023, prospective PACT members will undergo an interview process as an additional level of vetting, changing the focus from the quantity of team members to the quality of team members' experience, skill and passion for the work.
  • By September 2023, the department newsletter will highlight one PACT member who has exceeded expectations and served as an exemplary model of the PACT code of ethics. If you would like to nominate a team member, please reach out to Meckenzie Hayes.

PACT in Action

What kind of help does PACT provide? In 2022:

  • PACT members responded to 583 calls for assistance.
  • Incidents involving personal issues or stress were most frequent (50%), specifically incidents related to family or other personal relationships (19%).
  • Common interventions PACT members provided included emotional support and providing assistance accessing EAP or other external resources. However, PACT members also provided a number of other supports, including crisis response and accompanying staff to get medical attention following an emergency.

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!

Ambassador Appreciation


Corrections Way ambassadors work selflessly every day to improve our workplace and our people. As part of the ambassador quarterly call, ambassador teams were challenged to take a moment to just focus on themselves and their peers by taking part in team-building activities. This was a time to take a break, celebrate accomplishments and re-energize. Here's a look at some ambassadors sharing this much-deserved time.

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 12 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 Alexandra Harlow from Northeast Correctional Center (NECC), Adam Tinnin from Southeast Correctional Center (SECC) and Ricardo Torres from Western Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center (WRDCC). 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.

Correctional Peace Officers Foundation News

Join the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation (CPOF)

The Correctional Peace Officers Foundation (CPOF) is a national nonprofit charitable organization created in 1984. Its primary function is to preserve and support the surviving families of corrections professionals who lose their lives in the line of duty.

CPOF membership is open to professionals who work in prisons, institutions, jails and parole/probation systems. For members' convenience, payment of dues can be set up through a bank draft or payroll deduction. Learn about membership benefits, and apply to join CPOF.

PROJECT 2000 XXXIV Comes to St. Louis


The Correctional Peace Officers Foundation (CPOF) Project 2000 will be held in St. Louis this summer, with events taking place June 15-18. The national memorial service honoring correctional staff who lost their lives in the line of duty will be held Friday, June 16.

Since 1990, CPOF has hosted the annual four-day gathering which memorializes those in the corrections profession who lost their lives in the line of duty during the preceding year. Surviving family members are honored guests at the gathering, which features an honor guard, seminars, and support group sessions as well as hosted meals.

Space is limited to 500 participants. Register to attend »

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

Build Trust on Your Team


We're working hard to retain staff and to make the Missouri Department of Corrections a great place to work. An essential part being effective in our day-to-day work is cultivating trust among teammates.


  • Be honest and supportive with coworkers.
  • Respect privacy and confidentiality.
  • Communicate openly and directly.
  • Ask for help, and offer help.