Staff Newsletter | June 2023

View as a webpage

missouri department of corrections

Employee Newsletter | June 2023

MO Recognition

Missouri Celebrates State Employees


June is Missouri State Team Member Appreciation Month, and we're celebrating statewide.

In Jefferson City, the Office of Administration will hold food truck days by the Capitol June 14 and 28. Planning also is underway for additional events in the Kansas City and St. Louis areas. Check with your worksite for festivities near you.

Looking for a meaningful way to recognize your teammates and their contributions? Visit the MO Appreciation website, which explains why recognition matters and recommends both formal and informal opportunities — everything from the Lifesaver Award and Award of Valor to trivia games and Taco Tuesday. Personalized mugs, bags and notebooks are available in the MO Appreciation shop.

Celebrating this month? Send us your photos!

Heralding Heroes

Staff Save Lives

Chillicothe Correctional Center (CCC) and Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center (ERDCC) recently recognized multiple staff members with the department’s Lifesaver Award and Distinguished Service Award for acts of heroism performed in the past year.


When a teammate experienced a potentially life-threatening medical event in January, Sergeant Chad Gardner and Officer Brian Miller immediately called for medical assistance, provided first aid and procured snacks to address possible blood sugar issues.

Nurses Kelly Tipton and Maicyn Cornbrust provided medical treatment for the staff member, whom Gardner then transported to a local hospital, where he stayed until family members arrived.

All were recognized with the Lifesaver Award.


While visiting a family member in the community, CCC Officer David Baker noticed an unfamiliar person behaving erratically near the property. He notified police, who arrived on the scene, spoke with the person and left.

Baker then saw the same person enter a nearby home, where the homeowner was present. Baker again notified law enforcement and then went to the home to confront the intruder, using Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training techniques to de-escalate the situation until law enforcement arrived.

Baker earned the Distinguished Service Award.


Officer Brandy Baker was holding a door open at the CCC west dining room when she noticed an offender in distress.

Concluding that the offender might be choking, Baker leapt into action, putting her training and skills to work.

Remaining calm, she approached the offender and performed the Heimlich maneuver, successfully dislodging the obstruction, opening the offender’s airway and saving his life.

She was recognized with the Lifesaver Award.


In the midst of handling offender transfers, Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center (ERDCC) Officer Josh Vinson saw a team member collapse and become unresponsive.

Vinson immediately began CPR and took emergency measures, ultimately saving his coworker's life.

Vinson was presented with the Lifesaver Award.


Coming in Hot

Corrections Teams Carry a Torch for Special Olympics Missouri


Corrections staff throughout the state took part in the 2023 Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Missouri May 22 through June 2. More than 850 runners from 102 agencies completed 36 routes and nearly 900 miles, culminating with the lighting of the torch at the 2023 Summer Games in Columbia.

Founded by the Missouri Police Chiefs Association (MPCA) in 1986, the torch run is one of many awareness-raising and fundraising events law enforcement agencies hold to support Special Olympics. Statewide, agencies including the Missouri Department of Corrections raise more than $1 for the organization each year, with donations totaling $1.4 million in 2022.

Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. To donate, visit

Pride & Patriotism

Honor Guard Travels to Nation's Capitol for Memorial Event


Missouri Department of Corrections Honor Guard members represented the department at the 42nd annual National Peace Officer's Memorial Service on the U.S. Capitol lawn in Washington, D.C., last month.

Sponsored by the National Fraternal Order of Police and the Grand Lodge Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary, the event pays tribute to officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

The MODOC guard honored the memory of Probation & Parole Officer John Luck, who lost his life in December 2021.

President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation that designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day in 1962. The event now draws more than 25,000 attendees each year.

Veterans Hold Memorial Day Ceremony


To commemorate Memorial Day, the Pathfinders, a group for incarcerated veterans at Crossroads Correctional Center (CRCC), held a flag-raising ceremony honoring those who have fallen.

Throughout the state, corrections staff who are military veterans work with offenders who also have served in the military, creating supportive environments that foster self-discipline, mentorship and camaraderie.

Citizen O


Chillicothe Correctional Center (CCC) Major Boshko Ognenovski officially became a U.S. citizen last month.

A native of North Macedonia, Ognenovski came to Missouri in 2008 as a college basketball player.

In 2015 he joined the Department of Corrections as an officer at Moberly Correctional Center, where he led the Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT). 

In April 2023, Ognenovski was promoted to major at CCC, just weeks before being sworn in as a U.S. citizen.

Officer of the Year

Moberly Team Member Honored


The Moberly Optimist Club has named Moberly Correctional Center (MCC) Officer Billy Colley Officer of the Year.

A Missouri Department of Corrections team member since 2012, Colley is known for taking time to mentor and train new staff and volunteering to work overtime.

Colley also uses his observational skills and attention to detail to help ensure the safety and security of the facility.

Recently Colley facilitated the identification and removal of dangerous contraband.

May 2023 Employee of the Month


Jenni Rash, a correctional programs specialist at Moberly Correctional Center, has been named employee of the month for May 2023.

Rash knows how to find great employees and keep them on the team. As a volunteer correctional recruiter, Rash has worked hard to make sure prospective team members know how valuable and rewarding a career in corrections can be. She has helped to rebrand MCC’s digital presence. She has managed a multi-platform recruitment campaign in social media. She has even partnered with local schools and other area organizations to buoy MCC’s reputation in the community.

Rash also goes out of her way to make sure applicants and new hires feel welcome and well informed. During the pre-hire process, she reaches out to job candidates to let them know where to park and how to access the facility. Once they’re on board, she helps new staff secure resources they might need, such as transportation, clothing or child care. Her personal touch sets the standard for the team and helps foster a welcoming, inclusive culture..

Legislative Wrapup

Budget Set for Coming Fiscal Year

The Missouri General Assembly legislative session wrapped up May 12, with both the House of Representatives and the Senate approving Governor Mike Parson's proposed budget for fiscal year 2024 with few changes. For the Department of Corrections, that means new staff positions, resources and support for our teams. Pending the Governor's signature on the budget bill, in FY24, which starts July 1, 2023, the department will have funding for:

  • 40 additional sergeant positions
  • 19 human resources managers — one for each adult institution
  • 26 employee support specialists
  • 12 additional employee health nurses
  • 3 new staff for trauma response, enabling the department to hold Post-Critical Incident Seminars (PCIS) four times a year
  • Expansion of probation and parole arrest teams
  • A new community supervision center for the southwest region of the state
  • Air conditioning for Fulton Reception & Diagnostic Center (FRDC)

Aramark in Operation

Staff Cafés Coming Soon


The contracted vendor Aramark Correctional Services is now operating offender food services in the department's adult institutions and transition centers.

Next, Aramark will open 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.

Operational Excellence

Staff Tune in to Online Sessions


Thanks to everyone who took part in the 2023 Missouri Department of Corrections 2023 Spring Operational Excellence Summit.

op-ex- banner

Throughout May, the MODOC op-ex team provided video presentations on the tools and skills we use to make the department better. Sessions covered strategic planning, data, project management and more, culminating in a live WebEx round-table discussion among division directors, which hundreds of team members tuned in to watch.

Missed a session? Get caught up at doc-gps.

Please reach out if you need assistance.

Taking Care of Our Teams

Benefits Fairs Held Statewide


Our Employee Health & Safety Unit is working hard to support the wellbeing of corrections teams.


In the past year, the department has held 20 employee health and benefits fairs at worksites throughout the state, connecting staff to resources.

Fair attendees have the opportunity to check their blood pressure and their vision while collecting wellness information. Exhibitors include local health care providers, the Missouri State Employees Retirement System (MOSERS), the Red Cross, the Missouri Crisis Intervention Teams Council, medical product providers, therapy dogs and more.

Learn about staff benefits and wellness resources.

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!

Western Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center Ambassadors


The Western Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center (WRDCC) Corrections Way ambassadors inspire and promote positivity at the institution and in the community. WRDCC ambassadors have held multiple activities for staff, including a cutest-pet contest and a "Who is Who” activity involving recognizing staff members' photos of their younger selves. 

WRDCC’s ambassadors also recently reached out to Maryville Treatment Center ambassadors for a team-building experience. The two groups volunteered to pick up trash in the St. Joseph community, followed by lunch and team-building games. Other exercises and activities include quick hits, skill-ups in CORE, bulletin boards, motivational emails, mentorship for new hires, and coordinating with the personnel club to assist with events.

The ambassador team is dedicated to spreading positivity, professionalism, communication and keeping TCW at the forefront!

Training Academy Updates

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

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.