Staff Newsletter | May 2024

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missouri department of corrections

Employee Newsletter | May 2024

Recidivism Rebound

Missouri Sees Drop in Returns to Prison


The Council of State Governments, a national nonpartisan organization that develops research-driven strategies to increase public safety, recently released a report highlighting the significant progress made in reducing recidivism in the U.S. in the 15 years since the passage of the 2008 Second Chance Act.

Titled "50 States, 1 Goal: Examining State-Level Recidivism Trends in the Second Chance Act Era," the report shows a 23% decrease in three-year reincarceration rates nationwide since 2008.

In our state, the improvement is even more pronounced. Missouri's rate of returns to prison has decreased by 33%.

Working with fellow state agencies and community partners, the Missouri Department of Corrections has taken concrete steps to reduce the risk of recidivism, including:

  • Implementation of evidence-based practices that promote successful reentry
  • Enactment of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, aiming to decrease the prison population and invest the savings in programs that boost post-incarceration success
  • Commitment to Reentry 2030 and the goals that support it
  • Establishment of reentry centers and affiliated staff positions at facilities statewide

The department also has released the FY24 state plan for Reentry 2030, involving commitments from 13 fellow state government agencies. Partnering departments are helping in areas such as identification documents; apprenticeships and professional licensing; career and tech education and job training; job referrals and professional networking; vocational rehabilitation; transportation assistance; and access to medical and behavioral health services.

Reentry Roles

Department Expands Positions

As a leader in Reentry 2030, a national initiative aiming to enhance outcomes for people leaving prison, the Missouri Department of Corrections has built a power team of experts overseeing reentry operations at the district, facility and regional levels. Working with each other and with partners in fellow government agencies and nonprofit organizations, these corrections professionals are breaking down barriers to success. Here's a look at the functions of each role.


April 2024 Employee of the Month


Charlie Ellis, a correctional officer at Chillicothe Correctional Center, is employee of the month for April 2024.

Ellis goes above and beyond to keep his facility safe. While he was working at a search point at CCC, he spotted two people attempting to gain access to the facility under a false pretense. Neither was on an approved visitors list, and neither provided the proper information or identification required for access.

Ellis appropriately advised the trespassers that they wouldn’t be permitted to enter and promptly informed administrative staff of the incident.

Ellis's dedication, professionalism and attention to detail helped to ensure the safety and security of the site.

IPOs Intersect

Institutional Parole Officers Collaborate at Statewide Conference


Last month, the Division of Probation & Parole hosted the two-day statewide Institutional Parole Conference 2024, with more than 200 participants. The event featured presentations and discussions regarding best practices and relevant topics affecting the ever-changing world of institutional parole operations, including presentations on the relationship between Probation & Parole (P&P) and the Division of Adult Institutions (DAI); The Corrections Way interactive breakout sessions on the principles rapport, appreciate, trust, respect, listen and value; Q&A sessions with Parole Board Chairman Don Phillips and other board members; staff care presentations by Employee Health, Wellness and Safety; and merged district hubs presentations.

Honoring Victims

Department Hosts Candlelight Vigil


In recognition of National Crime Victims Right Week, the department's Office of Victim Services hosted a candlelight vigil at the Cole County Sheriff's Department. Guests included Missouri Department of Corrections Deputy Director Travis Terry, Cedar Grove Baptist Church Pastor Dusty Klein, Jefferson City Mayor Ron Fitzwater, Cole County Sheriff John Wheeler, and DeAnna, the mother of a crime victim, who shared her story with attendees. The Office of Victim Services and Puppies for Parole joined fellow state agencies and community partners in providing information booths for guests.

Taking the Stage

Farmington Staff Shine at State's First Prison TEDx Event


Last month Farmington Correctional Center (FCC) hosted the first TEDx event ever to be held in a Missouri state prison. Throughout the day, 15 FCC residents and staff members presented Ted Talk-style speeches, original poems and live music to an audience of corrections folks and community leaders. Delia Cohen and Anne Rice from Proximity for Justice, alongside Correctional Case Manager III Matt Petty and other dedicated FCC staff, spent eight months working with participants on their talks, created around the theme “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” Speakers talked expertly about love of education, love of video games, love of nature, love of self, love of family, love of community, and the other aspects of love that drive them.

Corrections team members opened up to the audience on stage. Petty gave a talk on love for his family and love for his career in corrections, particularly his role in in the Reentry Center, where he works to prepare residents to return to society. Warden Teri Vandergriff sat down for a question-and-answer session with event emcee Mark Powell. Academic Teacher III Danielle Barton and Institutional Reentry Coordinator Sheila Pigmon shared original poems. And Correctional Officer I Joshua McDonald performed an original song.

Graduation Glee

Chillicothe Correctional Center Residents Celebrate a Milestone


Take in some graduation day joy with the first class to complete the Aspire MO 2.0 Warehouse, Manufacturing & Supply Chain training program. Building on the success of the Aspire MO entrepreneurship program, this Missouri Department of Economic Development Missouri Women's Council training initiative for students at Chillicothe Correctional Center provides nationally recognized OSHA 10 and Certified Production Technician 4.0 certifications to women soon to be released, preparing them for careers in the extensive manufacturing and distribution industries across the state. Each graduate completes eight hours of Clifton Strengths training by Partner for Better and a year of peer support led by Connections to Success. Thank you to the CCC and education staff who worked tirelessly to make it happen.

Watch the video »

Operational Excellence

Summit Continues Throughout May


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

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.

Spotlight on Op-Ex

Elevating Efficiency

One of the three fundamental principles of lean management is the elimination of waste. Waste refers to inefficient workflow processes that hinder productivity, reduce output and drive up costs. There are eight types of waste in lean management: transportation, over-producing, over processing, inventory, defects, waiting, motion and skills. Reducing waste helps build efficiency and productivity.


For more information on lean management go to: The Missouri Way Training Series: Show Me Excellence White Belt Training

Wellness Challenge


May is National Mental Health Month, and we're promoting self-care and healthy practices.

Make an effort to put your emotional wellness first, and then tell us about it! This spring (March-June), share 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. 

To spread the word about healthy ways to practice and maintain emotional wellness, entries will be shared on the intranet through the 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.

PCIS 2024 Update

2024 Post Critical Incident Seminar (PCIS) Registration Closed

Because of overwhelming response, the Post Critical Incident Seminar (PCIS) team has closed the registration period for remaining 2024 sessions, following a resoundingly successful April event. The PCIS team is currently processing all applications submitted before April 18, 2024.


Space is limited, and session availability cannot be guaranteed. Applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Some applicants may be placed on a waiting list or referred to other resources if needed. If you already have applied for PCIS, the team will contact you soon to schedule your screening. Please be sure to respond when contacted.

All applicants will be notified of their selection for the August or November events by May 31, 2024.

For more resources, please take a look at the attached information about employee wellness resources and programs such as The Battle Within, Warriors' Ascent and the Missouri Crisis Intervention Team Council (MO CIT).

Microsoft 365 is Live!

What to Expect from M365 Office Suite

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Microsoft 365 (M365) Office Suite deployment began Monday, April 29, launching efforts to usher in new productivity, collaboration and innovation tools for State of Missouri employees.

What to Do:

If your device was not powered on during the initial deployment, the update will be attempted again during the next available maintenance window. Maintenance windows are 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily Monday through Thursday as well as continuously through the weekend, 10 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday.

The installation of M365 will require a reboot of your device, which will occur automatically. Please note: If you currently have Microsoft Visio and/or Project installed, the latest version will automatically be installed.

If you experience problems related to the new version of this software, please submit a helpdesk Cherwell ticket detailing the issue. Please select the following categories from the dropdown; Computer Software, Report Issue, and Microsoft Office 365. If you have received an error message, please include a screenshot with your Cherwell ticket.

How to Access M365 Office Suite Applications:

With M365, you will have the flexibility to work from anywhere, on any state-owned device.

Action: Print or save the instructions so that you can access them when you log in to your new M365 Office Suite. Download the login instructions here, M365 Login Directions


M365 applications are designed to seamlessly integrate with each other, making collaboration and communication easier than ever before. You will be able to create, share and edit documents from the cloud (browser) with colleagues in real-time, whether in the office or working remotely.

Training and Support: 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, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and user guides.

We look forward to a more efficient and collaborative future with M365!  

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

Fulton Reception & Diagnostic Center (FRDC)


The Fulton Reception & Diagnostic Center (FRDC) team includes Sgt. Ryan Derby, COI Terry Little, SOSA Rhonda Tarrants, Lt. Justin Crabtree, COI Ronald Miller, CCMII Robert Duncan, Lt. Christopher Moore and Sgt. Christian Smith.

The team works hard to keep The Corrections Way principles and practices fresh for FRDC. They send out informational flyers about TCW topics and conduct monthly skill-up sessions in core classes. They hold leadership walks and organize meet-and-greet potlucks with new academy graduates. They also have organized a two-part, eight-hour refresher training for custody supervisors to help them communicate better with the people they supervise. Aided by these efforts, the facility's staffing levels and retention rates are on the rise.



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

R-E-S-P-E-C-T in M-O-D-O-C


We're working hard to recruit and retain staff and to make our department a great place to work. Demonstrating respect for coworkers builds a positive work environment. 


Encourage coworkers to share ideas, and then listen.

Don't engage in insults or name-calling.

Be mindful and accepting of cultural differences.