Staff Newsletter | April 2024

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missouri department of corrections

Employee Newsletter | April 2024

Second Chances

Missouri Revolutionizes Reentry


Both Governor Mike Parson and President Joe Biden have issued proclamations recognizing April 2024 as Second Chance Month. A celebration of the Second Chance Act of 2007, Second Chance Month acknowledges the important work government agencies, employers and community organizations do to support the safe and successful reentry of people returning from incarceration.

April 2024 also marks one year of Missouri's participation in Reentry 2030. Missouri was the first state to sign onto this national initiative aiming to improve reentry outcomes for people leaving prison by implementing human-centered, coordinated, transparent and equitable practices that lead to success. Since our 2023 kickoff, we've been joined by three other states: Alabama, Nebraska and North Carolina.

Both our Reentry 2030 goals and Second Chance Month focus on cultivating employment success for people leaving prison. The Department of Corrections has enhanced employment preparation for Missourians in our custody.

We offer higher education partnerships with 10 colleges and universities and recently have celebrated degree program graduations from Missouri State University-West Plains, Washington University and Ashland University. We have launched new job training programs leading to tattoo artist licensing; National Restaurant Association certifications; and OSHA 10 and Certified Production Technician 4.0 certifications in the warehouse, manufacturing and supply chain industry.

The department now has reentry centers in more than half of our prisons, with plans underway to expand to all facilities. These centers are built by corrections teams and operated by corrections professionals specializing in reentry, employment and housing.

Reentry Roundup

Second Chance Employers Summit


Government and business leaders convened in Jefferson City last month for the Second Chance Employers Summit, led by the Missouri Department of Corrections reentry team. Attendees gathered information about the benefits of hiring skilled workers who have past felony convictions and learned about best practices for navigating human resources challenges when drawing from this talent pool. Employing formerly incarcerated Missourians builds a stable economy, stronger families and safer communities.

STAR Summit


More than 200 people gathered in St. Louis last month for the St. Louis Alliance for Reentry (STAR) Summit. With a focus on housing issues affecting people involved in the criminal justice system, the 2024 summit featured speakers from the Missouri Department of Corrections, ARCHS, St. Louis Criminal Justice Coordinated Council, Criminal Justice Ministry, the Affordable Housing Commission and St. Louis government agencies.

Second Chance KC


The Division of Probation & Parole joined Second Chance KC and other community partners for a reentry simulation in Kansas City. Missourians leaving prison face multiple obstacles to success as they navigate probation and parole, housing, employment, transportation and other aspects of day-to-day life. Events like these help foster compassion and generate innovation in our organizations.

Aspire MO 2.0


Chillicothe Correctional Center (CCC) recently celebrated the first group of students to graduate from Aspire MO 2.0. Building on the success of the Aspire MO entrepreneurship program, the new incarnation of this job training partnership focuses on warehouse, manufacturing and supply chain training to prepare participants for careers in the manufacturing and distribution industries across the state. The nine graduates earned OSHA 10 and Certified Production Technician 4.0 certifications and will be provided with eight hours of Clifton Strengths training by Partner for Better as well as a year of peer support led by Connections to Success.

Employment Successes


At Boonville Correctional Center, Employment Transition Specialist Sasha Conway and Reentry Coordinator Ashley Wells recently helped a BCC resident secure a job with Union Pacific, ensuring he can walk out of prison and into the workplace.

Thanks to training and support from Missouri Vocational Enterprises Factory Supervisor Janet Boley, two former Chillicothe Correctional Center residents recently reported channeling their MVE skills into
professional success.


After 14 years in prison, Robbie Whitworth landed a job with a steel company working inside a Ford-General Motors plant. Now she earns more than $25 an hour as a General Motors quality technician with great benefits. "I can't believe this is my life!!!" she wrote to Boley.

Another former MVE worker started a job with MERS Goodwill Janitorial and now has been promoted to a site supervisor making more than $18 an hour. She has her own apartment, a car and a strong relationship with her sons and just completed parole supervision. "I'm so blessed to have had that time in prison to get sober and educate myself," she told Boley. "I met some amazing women there, and I'm forever grateful for the time we spent together."

Welcome Wardens

Kim Herring Named WRDCC Warden

Kim Herring

Kim Herring has been named warden of Western Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center, effective April 1, 2024.

Herring began her career with the department in August 1999 as a Corrections Officer I at Crossroads Correctional Center (CRCC). In 2006, she promoted to Correctional Classification Assistant and then to Corrections Services Trainee, a position that was reclassified to Corrections Case Manager, in March 2007.

In October 2008, Herring transferred to Chillicothe Correctional Center (CCC).

Herring became functional unit manager at CRCC in January 2011 and then assistant warden at CCC in February 2015.

She became CCC deputy warden in May 2018.

Jeff Falkenrath Named TCC Warden


Jeff Falkenrath has been named warden of Tipton Correctional Center (TCC), effective April 1, 2024.

Falkenrath began his career with the department in October 1996 as a Corrections Officer I at Central Missouri Correctional Center. He was promoted to Corrections Officer II in May 1998, to Corrections Officer III in May 2002 and to Corrections Supervisor I in November 2003. Falkenrath transferred to South Central Correctional Center (SCCC) in May 2005 before leaving the department later that year.

Falkenrath rejoined the department in April 2009, serving in custody roles at Algoa Correctional Center (ACC), Fulton Reception & Diagnostic Center (FRDC) and Tipton Correctional Center (TCC), where he was named deputy warden in May 2019.

Falkenrath became assistant coordinator of the Security Intelligence Unit in October 2020 and deputy warden at Moberly Correctional Center in February 2022.

Falkenrath has 12 years of experience in the United States Army and the Missouri National Guard.

March 2024 Employee of the Month


Matt Jessmer, a functional unit manager at Crossroads Correctional Center (CRCC), has been named employee of the month for March 2024.

Jessmer is adept at generating opportunities and organizing activities that enhance the lives of residents and staff.

In 2023, Jessmer founded the Crossroads Disc Golf Club, giving CRCC staff and friends an outlet for reducing stress, boosting fitness and wellness, and building relationships with one another and members of the Cameron community.

Jessmer’s creativity and dedication to the team have helped to strengthen bonds and boost morale among people living and working at CRCC.


Tipton Staff Member Earns Honors


Dena Bemboom, a unit supervisor at Tipton Correctional Center (TCC), is the Peer Action Care Team (PACT) Member of the Quarter. Bemboom was nominated by TCC PACT Leader Debbie Oxford, who described situations in which Bemboom has demonstrated a willingness to respond “…instantly, without any hesitation. Ms. Bemboom showed what a PACT member truly is — and her support and loyalty to her co-workers.” In addition to helping her peers at her worksite, Bemboom has traveled to other districts in need of support.

Operational Excellence

Summit Begins May 1


Join the Missouri Department of Corrections Research, Planning & Process Improvement team throughout May 2024 for the Missouri Department of Corrections Spring Operational Excellence Summit. Tune into sessions on doc-gps and learn about the tools and skills used to make informed decision, set goals, manage projects and implement improvements that make the department better.


WEEK 1: Wednesday, May 1

  • Summit Kick-Off
  • What is Operational Excellence?
  • DOC Strategic Plan
  • What to Expect

WEEK 2: Tuesday, May 7

  • Productivity Power Hour
  • Operational Excellence in Reentry

WEEK 3: Wednesday, May 15

  • Managing Information
  • Metrics - Measuring Innovation

WEEK 4: Wednesday, May 22

  • Division Directors Round Table

Register for the live round table session.

Wellness Webex Webinars

April 18 Sessions

The wellness webinar series from MODOC Health, Wellness & Safety continues in April with sessions on nutrition and counseling.


Natural Hacks: Healthy Mood
Nutritional Health Coach Erin Lawrence on which foods support or hinder a healthy mood. 10 a.m.

Coffee Talk: Counseling
Employee trauma and support panel on what counseling is, how it should work and where you can find providers. 2 p.m.

To join a webinar, open the link about 5 minutes prior to the start time. Click "Open Webex" and then "Join Meeting." Questions? Email

See the full schedule.

Emotional Wellness Challenge


Make an effort to put YOUR emotional wellness first and then share about it! This spring (March-June), tell us about what you do to stay well. E-mails sent to that describe what you do to stay well and participation in wellness webinars will be accepted as challenge entries. 

In order to get more of MoDOC talking about healthy ways to practice and maintain emotional wellness, entries will be shared on the intranet Just Peachy banner. Your participation not only gets you into the drawing pool for a Just Peachy hooded sweatshirt or T-shirt but also serves as encouragement to others. This is a platform to consider the healthy ways to manage stress and stay well. All healthy efforts count. At the conclusion of this challenge, 30 winners will be selected at random to receive a Just Peachy hooded sweatshirt or T-shirt.

Employee Support

The Missouri Department of Corrections has expanded staff resources throughout the state, with new positions in the Employee Health, Wellness & Safety Unit and the Division of Adult Institutions — plus cross-divisional programs and services. We're working hard to provide YOU with the support and resources you need.


Referral Incentive Program


The State of Missouri has launched a new Statewide Employee Referral Program that offers financial incentives to current employees for successful referrals of new hires in state government positions. The Missouri Department of Corrections has discontinued our previous departmental referral incentive program.

If you sign up for the new program, you will be eligible to receive an incentive when you successfully refer a job candidate to any full-time, benefit-eligible position in any of 15 executive branch departments, including corrections. This means you can earn $250 for each person you refer to any of these agencies, or $500 for a referral to a hard-to-fill position. Register on MO Careers to receive a unique referral key. Provide your key to candidates you refer for jobs. Find instructions on the Office of Administration’s website.

Department of Corrections team members in all active employment types are eligible to receive a referral incentive, with a few positions excluded, including recruiters, personnel staff, section heads, deputy and assistant division directors, and managers at the rank of major, unit supervisor, associate superintendent and higher.

For more information about the program, visit Questions may be routed through your worksite personnel office or emailed to

Staff Education

Advance Your Education Through College/University Partnerships

Ready to earn a degree?

Missouri Department of Corrections staff members can get tuition discounts when earning course credits and degrees from partner colleges and universities. Staff also may be eligible for course credit for training completed with MODOC. Enroll now!

  • Ashland University   10% tuition discount and scholarship eligibility.
  • Central Methodist University   20% discount for online associate's or bachelor's degree programs. Call 660-248-6651 or email
  • Columbia College  15% tuition discount for all Missouri state government employees and their spouses/domestic partners and dependents under age 25.
  • Culver-Stockton College  10% online tuition discount.
  • Drury University  6-9 credit hours (correctional officers) or 6 credit hours (non-custodial staff) for training completed at the Training Academy and/or on-the-job training.
  • Faulkner University  50% tuition discount for full-time and retired correctional employees (must maintain continuous enrollment). Up to 28 semester hours of credit for law enforcement academy training toward bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Call 334-386-7343.
  • Grantham University  Reduced tuition $250 per credit hour; no textbook or software fees. Ability to transfer up to 75% of credits from other college transcripts and prior learning.
  • Missouri State University  10% tuition discount on seated and online courses; 15% discount on courses at the MSU Public Safety Training Center and/or other non- credit courses.
  • Park University  10% tuition discount for corrections staff; waived application fee.
  • Purdue Global University  20% discount for undergraduate and 14% discount for graduate tuition.
  • Rasmussen University  10% discount.
  • Rockhurst University  Free courses for up to 20 employees at Chillicothe Correctional Center.
  • St Louis University  Free courses for up to 20 employees at Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center.
  • Truman State University  10% discount on in-state tuition for graduate and undergraduate programs.
  • University of Central Missouri  5% discount on online and UCM-Lee’s Summit tuition; may waive application fees; 15% discount on tuition for the Missouri Safety Center and Extended Studies; may accept corrections training for credit toward a degree.
  • Washington University  Free courses for up to 15 employees per site through the Prison Education Project.
  • Western Governors University  5% tuition discount and scholarship eligibility.
  • William Woods University  20% online tuition discount for corrections employees and their immediate families through Woods Global. Eligibility for scholarship equal to 65% of the standard tuition for residential or commuter enrollment. May accept corrections trainings for college credit.

Microsoft 365 Deployment

M365 Office Suite Launches April 29


We are excited to announce the Microsoft 365 (M365) Office Suite deployment, advancing productivity and collaboration for the State of Missouri. The M365 Office Suite deployment is part of our Digital Government Transformation (DGT) portfolio of projects, with a goal to improve how we work together to serve our citizens.

Your M365 Office Suite deployment is scheduled for Monday, April 29. Watch for instructions for accessing the M365 Office Suite and resources to help you learn how to leverage your new tools.


Training and Support: We understand that adapting to new tools may require some assistance. Resources and documentation are available on the M365 HUB. To learn more visit M365 Help for learning resources, project announcements, FAQs, and user guides.

What happens next? Watch your inbox for additional communications through GovDelivery ( and the DOC Help Desk as they will contain action items.

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

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

Probation & Parole Eastern Region


The Probation & Parole Eastern Regional Ambassador Team has been busy.


The team recently traveled throughout to Eastern Region facilitating workshops on social styles for P&P staff. They then created a chart for display in the regional training room to showcase styles and help colleagues better understand how to interact with one another effectively.

This spring the ambassador team is facilitating 4 I's of Communication workshops to assist staff with effective communication and recognizing  “squirrel moments.” 

The team includes: Allison Rekart, Missy Kruse, Juanita Bransford, Nikki Beverly, Heather Wright, Michael Arnold, Dorothy Vasquez, Elvie Casarez, Kiesha Keely (Influencer), Latrieze Reed and Erica Wiley



The state’s business cycle runs on a fiscal year timeframe, this year from July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024 (FY 2024). 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

Help Your Teammates Know Their Value


We're working hard to retain staff and to make the Missouri Department of Corrections a great place to work. Awards are a wonderful way to make employees feel valued, but there's more we can do every day to show how important each person is in what we do.


  • Give appreciative feedback.
  • Recognize individual strengths.
  • Remember the vital role you play in supporting the department's mission.