Staff Newsletter | October 2023

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missouri department of corrections

Employee Newsletter | October 2023

Well-Earned Fun

Department Celebrates Staff


Staff at worksites throughout the state pulled out all the stops for last month's Corrections Employee Appreciation Week.

Teams celebrated with barbecues, food trucks, cornhole games, wellness walks and runs, prize giveaways, craft fairs, escape rooms, water balloon fights, dunking booths and more.

Members of the corrections team took time to acknowledge themselves, one another, and the important work we all do as a team.

Corrections Reimagined

A new approach to corrections is underway in Missouri prisons. Innovative staff have established honor dorms where participants with a record of pro-social behaviors live together in small communities with greater independence and freedom of movement. Watch the videos below to learn about their experiences.

Dynamo Program Transforms Northeast Correctional Center


In the Dynamo program at Northeast Correctional Center, 14 men incarcerated for decades have formed their own community. They live independently in an unstaffed housing unit, where they make their own schedules, maintain their own living space, come and go with their own gate keys, and enjoy a quiet, harmonious existence they say is "like freedom."

Launched in April 2023, Dynamo is designed for men who have served one or more decades consecutively, have three or more years with no major conduct violations, and have completed 15 or more restorative justice hours. Participants live independently in a housing unit stocked with appliances such a washer and dryer, a freezer, a microwave, a community TV and DVD players. They have their own day room and recreation yard, which they can use whenever they choose.

The men of Dyamo talk about what this experience means to them, and Warden Clay Stanton talks about the benefits of the program not only on staffing levels but also on staff morale.

Watch the video »

Algoa Correctional Honor Program Incentivizes Positive Behavior


Designed under the guiding principle that responsibility breeds accountability, the honor dorm at Algoa Correctional Center opened in April 2022. Residents there have their own day room, recreation spaces, study rooms and a library — plus a house dog named Honor. They enjoy resident-led conflict resolution, freedom to make their own schedules, and a spot at the front of the line for meals and premium paid jobs. Best of all, they enjoy family restoration visits and the chance to spend time with loved ones outside the confines of the visiting room — having family picnics, playing sports and games with their kids, and building stronger bonds.

ACC Honor Dorm residents have been violation-free for two or more years; are employed or in school; complete programming; take part in Restorative Justice activities; and consistently exhibit pro-social behaviors.The program incentivizes positive behavior throughout the facility, which saw a tremendous drop in conduct violations and uses of force in the first year.

Honor Program participants talk about what this change has meant to them and how it has transformed their relationships with their families.

Watch the video »

September 2023 Employee of the Month


Employee of the month Brett Adkison, a specialized trades manager at Crossroads Correctional Center, knows how to get things done.

When operations relocated from Western Missouri Correctional Center (WMCC) to CRCC last year, Adkison was instrumental in making sure the changes unfolded smoothly — no small undertaking.

He juggled communications with outside contractors, outside vendors, institutional staff and central office staff to ensure completion of tasks and projects. He supervised our own maintenance staff at WMCC and CRCC to keep things on track. He worked with maintenance staff to complete installation of a new plumbing system that reduces the risk of flooding in housing units and to run cables connecting the new phone system, computers, printers and other electronic devices. He even managed multiple changes caused by supply shortages, delivery delays and contractor scheduling conflicts.

Thanks to Adkison's exceptional organizational skills, all of the pieces fell into place, and the move was a success.

Advancement Through Collaboration

Rising Leaders from Three Divisions Complete Missouri Leadership Academy


Congratulations to Probation & Parole District Administrator Christina McCarthy, Reentry Manager Alex Earls and Northeast Correctional Center Warden Clay Stanton, who completed the Missouri Leadership Academy last week.

These corrections rising stars teamed up with staff from fellow state agencies to develop better-government proposals and present the capstone projects “Legislative Academy,” “Reentry 2030” and “Citizen Service Portal.”

The Missouri Leadership Academy aims to accelerate staff professional growth while collaborating on ways to improve government performance.

PACT Class Act

Department Recognizes First Peer Action Care Team Member of the Quarter


Congratulations to Jefferson City Correctional Center Case Manager Thomas Kelley, the first person in the corrections family to be recognized as the department's Peer Action Care Team (PACT) Member of the Quarter. PACT leader Derek Pliska nominated Kelley for his willingness to volunteer after hours and his ability to demonstrate excellent communication skills while protecting the confidentiality of those he assists.

“As a new PACT member, he has gone above and beyond our training while staying within the limits in policy," Pliska said about Kelley. "His actions have deescalated staff crises as well as ensured proper communication.” Enhancing his skill set, Kelley has volunteered for training in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) so he can assist his teammates in a more formal way.

Back to School Means Giving Back

Probation & Parole Supports KidSmart


A school supply drive held recently by Probation & Parole Eastern Region teams yielded 3,939 donated items for KidSmart, a St. Louis organization annually empowering nearly 90,000 area students to succeed by directly providing their classrooms with free school supplies. Congratulations to P&P Push for Pencils winner District 8C, which brought in 1,205 items. District 8S was a close second with 1,093 items. Special thanks to committee members Jennifer Newkirk-8N, Debra Sue Bailey-EP, Rockiesha Keely-8C, Haley Vernon-8S, and Haley Wilfley-ERV, who organized the event, and to Kelsey Covington and LaShonna Parker, who managed the donations.

Jefferson City Correctional Center Donates School Supplies


Staff at Jefferson City Correctional Center facilitated a a fund drive in which multiple offender organizations raised money to purchase school supplies and backpacks for Jefferson City School District kids who need them.

With the donated funds, staff shopped for the supplies, which offenders packed and organized, and then dropped them off at Jefferson City's Lawton Elementary School.

P&P Publication

New, Improved Newsletter

P&P newsletter masthead, badge

After a hiatus, the Division of Probation & Parole newsletter is back! In its new incarnation, the publication P&P Insider will be published quarterly, starting this month. Look for programming highlights, Reentry 2030 updates, professional development opportunities and more — plus a special section with news about what's happening in each P&P region of the state.

Post-Critical Incident Seminars Continue

Sessions Set to Expand


The next session of the Post-Critical Incident Seminar (PCIS) takes place Oct. 24-26 in Columbia, marking the last session for 2023. But more PCIS sessions are on the way. In recent months, the department has obtained additional funding and hired a PCIS manager and plans to soon expand PCIS offerings to four times per year.

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.

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.


In this video, staff who have experienced PCIS talk about how the seminars helped them to better process their experiences, improve their mental and emotional wellbeing, and strengthen their relationships with loved ones, including partners who take part in the sessions with them.

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.

If you need help, please explore 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.

Giving Back

Charitable Campaign Runs Through October


The 2024 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 deductions or one-time gifts. Pledge a payroll deduction using the ESS portal, paper pledge card or credit card platform.


Three charitable organizations have been selected to benefit from Central Office fundraising events:

  • Bikers Against Child Abuse works with local and state officials to help protect children, lending support to abused children by affiliation and their physical presence.
  • The Pantry JC aims to reduce food insecurity and empower mid-Missouri residents with confidence in food preparation, providing fresh ingredients and recipes so clients can prepare their own meals.
  • Harmony House provides shelter and support services to mid-Missouri survivors of domestic violence and abuse.

To contribute to these organizations or any of the nearly 600 charitable organizations, visit

The campaign runs through Tuesday, Oct. 31.

Preparing for Microsoft 365

Microsoft Applications Migration Begins


The ITSD Microsoft project team is in the process of migrating the current Microsoft experience to Microsoft 365 (M365) as part of our DGT Initiative portfolio of projects.

After months of diligent preparation and testing, the team is excited to announce that the Microsoft Applications (Apps) deployment and Microsoft Exchange migrations will begin in October 2023.

Here are a few helpful items to note:

When will I see changes?

Due to the scope of this upgrade and seeking to be highly attuned to each Agency’s unique needs, the State is conducting a phased implementation. Migration schedules were carefully planned to account for each Agency's unique needs, and the deployment and migration process will begin in October 2023 and continue through July 2024.

What does this mean for me?

Microsoft Applications (e.g. Outlook, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, etc.) will upgrade, offering greater functionality. The Microsoft Exchange migration will consist of moving your Outlook data (emails, meetings, etc.). After the migration, you will access Microsoft applications differently and even more seamlessly.

What happens next?

Approximately one month before any changes occur for you, you will begin receiving communications through email and other channels. These communications will contain key details such as pre-migration tasks, how to log in after migration, and where to get help if needed. Communications are reviewed in advance by key leaders from your Agency and will be distributed based on your Agency’s preferred communication process.

How do I learn more?

Learn about your new tools on the M365 Hub at Microsoft 365 Hub - Home ( Also, watch your email for project announcements and next steps to prepare you for implementation.

Thank you for supporting the changes underway. The Digital Government Transformation (DGT) Initiative will strengthen the services we provide to each other, citizens, and businesses.


Taking Care of Yourself

Get a Flu Shot


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 throughout October. Check in with your employee health nurse, and stay tuned for details.

Need inspiration? Watch Nurse Amy Kitchens give Director Anne Precythe a flu shot »

Get Covered

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 2024 ends Oct. 31, 2023. New coverage and changes to coverage go into effect Jan. 1, 2024.

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.

Work Well Missouri Department of Corrections Employee Health and Safety bannerDJ Banner

The DREAM JOB wellness challenge is complete! Hundreds of team members from all job types and all parts of the state wrote about why they love their jobs, and the wellness team collected and shared the good vibes. Read what your colleagues have to say about their work in these DREAM JOB reports:

Volume I    Volume II     Volume III     Volume IV

desert waters books

Three winners will be randomly selected to receive an occupational wellness bundle, which includes a MODOC Wellness T-shirt and a set of Desert Waters pocket books on occupational wellness within corrections.

Stay tuned for the announcement!

Here are just a few examples of why our people love their jobs:

Kim Hubbard-Stewart

“The most favorite part about the work I do is when my leaders are doubting themselves. I get the opportunity to remind them of their strengths! I get the opportunity to work with others from all different walks of life. I get the opportunity to embrace change and send a charge to change. My career goal was to make a positive difference in the lives of others. I truly believe I have been afforded the opportunity to just that.”
- Kim Hubbard-Stewart, Regional Administrator, Division of Probation & Parole

"This job has helped me to grow and come out of my shell, gain confidence and learn the fundamentals of being a team player! I love that I do not have to do the same thing redundantly every day. I love that I have peer support and strong leaders. The best part is knowing that we are collectively changing the image and feelings in the minds of those people we keep secure. We are effectively helping ourselves reduce strain on the world collectively.”
- COI Cassey Wallace, Western Region Diagnostic and Correctional Center, Division of Adult Institutions

"There is no greater joy than watching a parent build back a broken relationship with their children, sharing in someone providing their first clean UA, watching someone appear in court on a motion to be released from probation due to their program success, taking part in a graduation ceremony from treatment court, or watching someone receive the results from the HSE test showing that they passed!"
- Jennifer Dooley, D2 Probation and Parole Officer, Division of Probation & Parole

“I enjoy the folks I work with and am grateful every day for their work ethic and how they function as a team to meet our goals and deadlines for others. I love my job!  I am grateful for the opportunity to be a small part of the Missouri Department of Corrections in Missouri.”
- Carol J. Bates, Toxicology Manager, MODOC Toxicology Laboratory, Division of Rehabilitative Services


"I have the opportunity to meet and connect with staff at all levels, roles and divisions of our department. Visiting each institution and office has given me a vantage point to see how we are all connected to the bigger picture. The Corrections Way is the type of leadership I believe in; therefore, it is easy for me to talk, teach and practice the tools and principles daily. When you are doing something you believe in, there is no greater motivation.”
- Ashley Golden, Senior Staff Development Training Specialist, Division of Human Services

"I could have never predicted this career path or that such opportunities even existed for someone like me. But because of some amazing mentors and fantastic programs offered by the DOC like PACT, TCW, CNT and CIT, I was able to learn, grow and promote. Now I feel like I have a real sense of purpose, and that naturally motivates me to continuously improve my communication skills, acquire new knowledge, and seek challenges that help me progress professionally and personally."
- Sarah Jensen, MODOC Crisis Intervention Teams Coordinator, Division of Adult Institutions

“If I can make a positive difference in even one offender's life, then all the bad will have been worth it. How many 'free' people have had a second chance or had someone believe in them during a crucial part of their life?”
- Chad Ream, Functional Unit Manager, Northeast Correctional Center, Division of Adult Institution

“I had never really had given thought to going beyond the entry level position I started at due to loving what I did. As I have grown in the department, I’ve realized that I have a passion for mentoring others and helping them reach goals and achievements they set for themselves.”
- COIII Sommer Taylor, Boonville Correctional Center, Division of Adult Institutions

Corrections Way Ambassadors

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 Spotlight

Central Office Ambassador Team


The Central Office Corrections Way Ambassadors team spans three buildings, including the Department of Corrections Central Office building, the Probation & Parole Central Office building, and the Missouri Vocational Enterprises and Training Academy building. The ambassador team keeps TCW in the forefront by hosting monthly skill-ups and an annual Social Style Showdown that challenges staff to wear their social-style color and culminates with a “win” for the director whose unit garners the most participation. 

Other ambassador activities include:

  • Welcoming new hires with a sweet treat
  • Monthly TCW flash newsletter
  • Inspirational emails
  • Fun sidewalk chalk messages
  • Signs and bulletin boards promoting positivity and teamwork
  • Leadership walks
  • Recipe cards
  • Staff challenges

The team includes: Alison Woodruff, Cassandra Gentry-Englert, Mandy Boots, Suzie Sanders, Jordan Shalla, Alana Thornton, Michael Melion, Stephanie Tandarich, Glenda Pratt and Geneva Heimricks.

The team is always looking to welcome new ambassadors and influencers. 

Publications Policy

Changes to the Purchase and Receipt of Reading Material

Effective Sept. 25, 2023, offenders no longer are permitted to receive publications purchased by family and friends. However, offenders may purchase their own reading materials (books, magazines, newspapers, religious materials and correspondence courses) from bona fide vendors. A publication includes any printed material that is published and made available for commercial purposes (books, magazines, and newspapers). Reading materials must meet censorship guidelines and must not exceed $100 in value, threaten safety and security of the institution, or exceed property limits.

There are no new restrictions on the number or type of books, newspapers or magazines people in prison can purchase, borrow, access or read. The department supports reading and makes reading materials readily available.

The Options


People living in Missouri state prisons have access to tens of thousands of books, magazines, newspapers and other reading materials. They can:

  • Access more than 10,000 books on their computer tablets through Project Gutenberg. This service is free.
  • Access more than 220,000 books, magazines, newspapers and other publications in prison libraries. This service is free.
  • Access religious texts of all kinds in prison chapel libraries. This service is free.
  • Purchase books or periodical subscriptions through the ordering process already in place.

The department also is working with nonprofit organizations that donate books so we can make free books more readily available in housing wings.

The Reason

This small change in procedure gives the department the ability to track the origin of each mailed publication and more efficiently keep contraband out of our facilities. Our mail room staff have discovered magazines and books with pages soaked in dangerous — even lethal — drugs or with drugs concealed in the book spines. A requirement that publications be sent only from a bona fide vendor already was in place. However, facilities receive books and other publications that appear to have been sent directly from a bona fide vendor but actually have been tampered with and then mailed in disguised packaging. In some cases, books have purchased from a vendor, tampered with, and then returned to the vendor to be shipped to a prison. The concealment of toxic substances in publications is not hypothetical; it’s a real problem with real consequences.

The Risk

Dangerous drugs increasingly are available in liquid form, making them difficult to detect. Once inside a facility, these substances can and do cause significant harm not only to the intended user but also to offenders and staff who are unwittingly exposed to them. We are aware that drugs can enter a prison through more than one route, and we work hard to reduce the risk in all areas. Mailed publications constitute one way we know drugs get into prisons, and changing the publication ordering process reduces risk while minimizing inconvenience — without interfering with programming, visiting, education, volunteer programs or other important operations. The willingness of friends, family and advocates to simply take one additional step when funding the purchase of publications for incarcerated people can literally save lives.



The state’s business cycle runs on a fiscal year timeframe, this year from July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024 (FY2024). Each year we articulate our priorities to support better government in Missouri through our strategic plan. In fiscal year 2024, 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.

Take a look at our current strategic initiatives »


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.