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Jefferson City Correctional Center


In the early years the prison grew quickly from its designed capacity of 40 inmates. By 1874 the prison had 1,000 inmates. In 1890 it had the largest population of inmates of any prison in the United States. In 1900 there were 2,070 male inmates and 65 females at the prison. The Jefferson City Star Tribune declared the penitentiary the “Greatest in the World!” Its many factories were producing a profit for the state. In 1905 the National Prison Association declared the prison the only one in the United States whose income exceeded cost of operations. Entrance to Missouri State Penitentiary, Jefferson City, Mo. The cost to feed the inmates three meals a day was 9 cents per inmate.

By 1925 the crumbling physical plant, overcrowded cells, poor sanitation, and poor working conditions caused the National Society of Penal Information to declare the prison as “one of the worst” in the United States.

In 1928 the prison population was 3,600 and the cost for three meals a day for a prisoner was 34 cents. In 1929 the Hawes-Cooper Act, a federal law prohibiting the sale of prison-made goods was approved by the United States Congress. The legislation was co-sponsored by Missouri Senator Harry Hawes, citing MSP as how union jobs were being taken by inmates. This law became effective in 1934, at a time when the prison housed 4,758 inmates. At that time the shoe factory inside the prison employed 1,600 inmate workers. Immediately inmate idleness added to other deteriorating conditions.

In 1954 the prison suffered a devastating riot which resulted in four inmate deaths, dozens of injuries to inmates and staff, and millions of dollars damage inside the prison. After the riot some conditions improved but violence inside the prison was rampant. In 1963 the prison hospital reported 145 stabbings and countless other acts of violence over the previous two years.

In 1967, MSP was called “the bloodiest 47 acres in America” by a national magazine. In one 13-month period in the early 1970s there were 13 murders in the prison. Also in the 1970s Federal Lawsuits about conditions in prison rose to unprecedented levels. In 1972, there were 3,849 separate pieces of legal action filed by the inmates. Proposals for a new maximum security prison to provide relief for the penitentiary were thwarted by protests from communities not wanting prisons. By the end of 1970 the prison housed nearly 3,000 of the Corrections Department’s 6,500 inmates. In the 1980’s community reactions to prison changed and they started requesting prisons to improve their economy.

New prisons in Pacific, Farmington, Fulton, Cameron, and a new maximum security prison in Potosi, Missouri, were all built in the 1980s providing relief for the main penitentiary at Jefferson City.

Overcrowding relief, better staff training, and the introduction of innovative programs for inmates all contributed to the improvements in the Missouri State Penitentiary making it safer for staff and inmates. The levels of violence steadily reduced and with the move into the replacement facility in 2004 it has further improved the level of safety for everyone inside the prison and the public.

After being labeled as the greatest prison in the world in its early years and then as one of the worst and most violent prisons in the nation, the Jefferson City Correctional Center is once again considered one of the best of its kind in the nation. Its innovative programs and state-of-the-art technology help staff ensure the mission of the Missouri Department of Corrections.

JCCC Overview

The Jefferson City Correctional Center was constructed at an approximate cost of 120 million dollars. It officially opened September 14, 2004.

The institution operates with a staff of 665 plus 100 volunteers in corrections.

As a medium/maximum security facility there are a total of eight housing units, the majority with a sustained population of 288 offenders per unit. The complex is divided into A and B sides, with four housing units located on each side, divided in the middle by a large central services building.

The central services complex contains the following services sections: medical unit (29-bed infirmary), library, education classrooms, institution activities office, chapel, offender property room, offender canteen, clothing issue, offender barber shop, two gymnasiums, food services (including three dining rooms), staff dining room, and the laundry. Additionally, the vast complex is the site for Information Technology and offenders working for the Department of Social Services.

The 42 acre prison complex also includes an administration building housing administrative offices, training rooms, and the institution’s control center; a multipurpose building containing two visiting rooms and a parole hearing room.

A large industrial building is located at the northeast corner of the site. Industries operated at JCCC include: a clothing factory, furniture factory, license plate manufacturing, recycled ink cartridges, and a graphic arts products operation.

The perimeter of the institution is protected by several high security fences which include a lethal fence. There are also additional state-of-the-art security technologies in place to protect public safety.

A maintenance building, powerhouse, and garage complex are located outside the main perimeter. In the same area is the main warehouse and a regional cook-chill operation which provides meals for seven institutions in the central part of the state.

The institution is composed of 1,440 general population offenders, 144 offenders in protective custody, and 340 offenders in administrative segregation status.

Programs in place to help offenders to prepare themselves to be productive citizens include: a HiSet program facilitated by volunteers who assist offenders in reaching the high school equivalency level, and a Restorative Justice program that teaches offenders to take responsibility for their criminal behavior and to realize the negative impact their behavior has had on countless citizens including their own families. The program gives offenders the skills and opportunity to give back to their community.

Another quality program available to men who qualify is the Intensive Therapeutic Community (ITC), a drug and alcohol program that stresses a holistic approach to help change criminals into productive citizens. The ITC program at JCCC is the only known program of its kind in a maximum security prison in the country. The focus has been on re-entry effort in recent years and several new programs have been developed to address the increase of releasing offenders.


The JCCC Custody Staff have a long tradition of loyalty and dedication to Public Safety and the Missouri Reentry Process. Staff by acting as role models and holding offenders accountable are helping offenders change behaviors and aiding in their success once released. Custody staff have adapted well to the influx of short term offenders that JCCC has received from the Reception and Diagnostic Centers. These offenders have brought new challenges to this institution and JCCC Staff have met those challenges with renewed dedication to the Department’s vision of professional development. JCCC Custody staff covers Outside Hospital duties for the Department’s offenders in Central Missouri hospitals. JCCC Custody Staff manage the medical transports to outside clinics and hospitals for male offenders undergoing cancer treatment across the state also, both allowing reduced costs. JCCC Custody Staff are exceptional and take pride in taking on many extra duties while keeping standards high.

Functional Unit Management System

The concept of Functional Unit Management was implemented at the Missouri State Penitentiary in 1985. At JCCC, the Institution is divided into eight housing units, each headed by a Functional Unit Manager who is assisted in the accomplishment of his/her duties by a unit secretary and a varying number of case managers, correctional classification assistants, counselors and custody staff. The number of offenders assigned to each complex varies because of the nature and purpose of the complex. Some Unit Managers have one housing unit and others will have two housing units. The Unit Manager works closely with the assigned zone lieutenant and is the direct supervisor of the assigned housing unit sergeants, correctional officers, case managers, and correctional classification assistants.

The Unit Manager is to ensure that a high degree of security, safety, and cleanliness is maintained in their unit. They ensure that the classification staff promptly and accurately processes all routine paperwork pertaining to the offender; such are offender concerns as family inquiries, conduct violations, mail and visiting, grievances, institutional transfers, behavioral modification programs, reclassification analysis, and various other related duties.

Center for Braille and Narration Production (CBNP)

The Center for Braille and Narration Production, CBNP, is a resource of the Missouri Rehabilitation Services for the Blind, administered by the Missouri Department of Social Services, Family Services Division, and works in cooperation with the Jefferson City Correctional Center. This collaborative effort affords the dual benefit of both low labor costs and a high degree of opportunity to the offender population, both while incarcerated and post-release.

The mission of CBNP is to assist with the educational, occupational, and recreational pursuits of the visually impaired citizens of Missouri through the transcription and narration of materials which would aid them in those pursuits.

The Center primarily transcribes/narrates textbooks—elementary thru college—but client materials also include children’s books, cookbooks, medical manuals, magazines, music, religion, driver guides, etc.

Transcription and Narration are offered in a variety of formats. Transcription is available in Braille, large print, and text formats, in either hard copy or electronic files; and Narration is available in MP3 and CD-audio formats. We also have limited titles in an Enhanced Audio (EA) format, which incorporates music and sound effects within the narration. All formats are offered in various mediums—CD, flash drive, and SD-card.

Information Technology Services Division (ITSD)

The Information Technology Services Division (ITSD) at JCCC has been diligently working all year to bring the DOC the most concise and well organized data possible. Its staff is dedicated to learning and applying the newest advances in information systems technology to each and every project they undertake.

Once again, the bulk of the offender programmer’s time was spent on the “Missouri Corrections Integrated System” (MOCIS). They’ve worked hard to improve its performance and response time and get it ready to implement the healthcare module in all the male facilities. Additionally, a new application to replace the old DFU file maintenance, named Web Data Utility, has been implemented for Custody Staff and Probation and Parole Employee systems.

Even with the offender programmer’s attention focused on program development and data conversion, existing systems still require regular maintenance. These included modifying OPII for criminal code revisions and updating Automated Road Book, Offender Finance, Offender Web Search, COI Hiring and many others.

Training is also a large part of the process for ITSD. Offender programmers are constantly required to learn new technologies to keep up with the evolving world of computer science. All offender programmers are required to attend weekly classes and code review in order to advance their skills and keep the applications robust and modern.

On the horizon is full conversion of OPII data and transactions into MOCIS. One day in the not too distant future, all offenders’ related data will be tracked through the MOCIS application. In the year to come, ITSD will continue working on OPII data conversion, full MOCIS implementation, program maintenance and the development of any newly requested projects.

Furniture Factory

The Furniture Factory manufactures a standard and custom line of furniture including kitchen cabinets. The factory builds plywood furniture, solid wood furniture, and raised panel furniture and picture frame material for the Engraving Factory. We have four main types of wood we use which is oak, birch, walnut, and soft maple which gets finished in light oak, dark oak, fireside, mahogany or walnut finishes.

Cartridge Recycling Factory

The Cartridge Recycling Factory recycles, builds, and repairs over seventy-five different types of ink and toner cartridges. The Cartridge Factory added several new cartridges to the line of products that is manufactured and currently building over 125 laser toner cartridges. In addition, color laser toner cartridges have been placed on the product line along with ink jet cartridges. This factory employs ten offenders.

License Plates

The License Plate Factory manufactures license plates for the Department of Revenue and for city and county agencies across Missouri. In 2014, the Sign Shop from Moberly Correctional Center was relocated here. It manufactures standard street signs, custom signs, decals, magnetic decals, static decals, banners, and boat placards for the Department of Revenue.


The Cloth Cutting Factory manufactures correctional officer uniforms, ball caps, knit caps, inmate grey pants, inmate grey shirts, polo shirts, safety vests, blankets, custom embroidery and DTG (Direct to Garment, ink jet printing) designs for state agencies, employees and nonprofit organizations. Cloth Cutting has a computer-controlled fabric cutting operation that supplies precut material to the Clothing Factory here at JCCC, and to other MVE clothing operations.


The Engraving Department manufactures several types of awards, name plates, and plaques. We also design and manufacture ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant signs for use in various state government buildings throughout the State of Missouri.

The Engraving Department also includes a Hobbycraft section. Products range from oil paintings, stained glass, hand-crafted leather work, pencil drawing, scrimshawing, and wood carving. Engraving offers custom framing of paintings, certificates, and awards with many varieties of frame and matte board available.

Graphic Arts

The Graphic Arts Department manufactures decals of various designs for the State of Missouri Department of Revenue

This Includes:

  • IFTA
  • ATV

The Graphic Arts Department also prints the Small City and County Flat License Plates, Specialty License, and the Missouri Dealers License Plates; as well as hundreds of decals, property labels and stickers for all State Agencies. They manufacture License Plate Validation Decals for the State of Arkansas.

HiSet (GED)

The Jefferson City Correctional Center’s HiSet (formally GED) program is a volunteer program in which offenders are allowed to assist each other in obtaining their education. Offender tutors range from recent HiSet recipients to those holding college degrees and the range of experience and commitment to their fellow offenders provide a positive atmosphere for offenders to learn in. Obviously, the HiSet program continues to be a positive tool among the offender population.

The program is overseen by the Institutional Activities Coordinator (IAC).

Institutional Activities Coordinator (IAC)

The Institutional Activities Coordinator (IAC) coordinates the following programs:

4-H Life

This group encourages interaction between the offenders and their families by bridging the gap between life in prison and life on the streets. It creates a positive atmosphere for the offenders and their children and the group meets twice a month with Volunteers in Corrections (VIC) and the Offenders. Families meet with the group in the large visiting room every other month.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

This group presents a comprehensive program in regards to alcoholism and Alcoholics Anonymous. This group meets once per week.


This group is for individuals working toward the advancement of colored people and to offer its members an opportunity to better enhance himself for his reentry into society through motivation and positive guidance. This group meets Bi weekly.

Offenders Offering Alternatives

This volunteer group works with and assists those on probation in Missouri through a program that presents the realities of incarceration and prison life.

Toastmasters International

This group helps its members improve their abilities to communicate effectively by developing their speaking skills through instruction, educational materials, constructive evaluation, and speaking before audiences.

Vietnam Veterans’ of America

This is a national organization which has made many strides toward obtaining and maintaining the rights not only of Vietnam Veterans, but of all Veterans.

Jefftown Video Productions

Jefftown is an offender staffed cable television and production system at JCCC. It has been in operation since 1984 and is staffed by five offenders. Jefftown operates seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is one of only a handful of television stations in the United States that are completely operated with offender staffing. Funding for the operation of Jefftown is provided by the JCCC Inmate Canteen Fund. Staff supervision of Jefftown is directed from the office of the Associate Warden of Operations with direct staff supervision coming from the Institutional Activities Coordinator (IAC).

Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice is a way of viewing, understanding and responding to crime and the effects it has on victims, communities and offenders. The Restorative Justice Office oversees numerous reparative activities within the institution. They are designed as a way for offenders to give back to the communities from which they took through victimization.

Impact of Crime on Victims

Impact of Crime on Victims Class is a 40 hour class in which the objective is to help the offender recognize who their victims are and how they have impacted the victim’s life by committing their crime. The class is also to help the inmate understand how to take responsibility and be accountable for their wrong doing and to become victim conscious.

Impact of Criminal Thinking

Impact of Criminal Thinking Class is a five chapter course ranging from, profile of a criminal, character defects, anger, violence and self-esteem. The purpose of this class is to challenge criminal thinking; to highlight the “impact” of that thinking.

Inside Out Dads

Inside Out Dads is a twelve week course in which the overall objective is to enhance the relationship between the offender and his children through the offender developing a deep and true commitment to being a father.

KidSmart Program

KidSmart Program includes classroom participation and in-cell participation. Currently, they average 50 offenders that involved in the classroom program which is a two hour period to work on bookmarks, flash cards, greeting cards and other projects for elementary schools. The in-cell program has an average of 150 offenders that do the same work as classroom offenders, but all work is done in their cells. All items are shipped to the KidSmart Warehouse in St. Louis, where at no cost; teachers can shop for items to utilize in their classrooms.

Critical Thinking Skills (CTS)

Critical Thinking Skills (CTS) – This 10 week class is designed to help the offender identify his personal use of criminal thinking errors and educate him to appropriate positive replacement thinking; with the ultimate goal of him making better behavior decisions leading to positive and healthy relationships through responsible thinking.

Let’s Talk

This is a 6 week closed peer support group, providing an open forum for participants to discuss issues that arise that he may need assistance or guidance in dealing with in a mature and positive way.


The Restorative Justice Department participates in various donations throughout the year.

These donations include:
  • Recycling projects
  • Garden projects
  • Monetary donations
  • Learning Aids projects
  • Sewing projects
  • Gifts for children of offenders who come to visit
  • Victims’ Rights Ceremony held during the year

Intensive Therapeutic Community (ITC)

In 2015, the Intensive Therapeutic Community held its 103th graduation, and celebrated its 20th year as an offender based, multifaceted cognitive intervention drug treatment program. A total of 26 men became Elders within the community. There is a saying in the program: “The only way to keep what we have, is by giving back.” We have made this the cornerstone of the program, and as a result the offenders within the program have been involved in numerous projects with the Community, Restorative Justice, staff, and custody.

Puppies for Parole

Puppies for Parole began in the Missouri Department of Corrections at the Jefferson City Correctional Center on February 1, 2010, and to date–has graduated and placed more than 280 dogs through our institutional program. The offender dog handlers train daily in front of Housing Unit 4 and have scheduled training day on Wednesdays in the big gym. It takes approximately 12 weeks to take a dog from a shelter environment to train them to the standards of the Canine Good Citizen’s of the American Kennel Club. In that time, we teach basic obedience as well as a host of specialty tricks or behaviors based on the upcoming permanent placement of our dogs.

We have placed dogs in Mental Health facilities, as well as, Veteran’s Homes–for therapy and house dogs. Likewise, numerous dogs have been placed within individual homes to be companion or therapy dogs, some for the elderly, an amputee and children with autism. Through our dog program, we have been able to help many people within our community get a companion or therapy dog at a very minimal fee while saving the life of these dogs that was the overall goal of our program when we began; what we didn’t expect was the drastic effect this program would have on staff, offenders and the relationship between the two.

Secure Social Rehabilitation Unit (SSRU)

The Secure Social Rehabilitation Unit (SSRU) at Jefferson City Correctional Center was envisioned and designed to provide clinically appropriate mental health treatment and programming to high custody level offenders who experience serious mental illnesses. It was determined that there were a number of seriously mentally ill offenders in the administrative segregation units as a result of their behaviors primarily associated with their particular mental illness. The administrative segregation units in the high custody level correctional facilities are not the least restrictive environment, nor an environment which lends itself readily to special or intense mental health treatment and or programming.

The SSRU establishes a setting where treatment and programming is provided with a goal of moving these offenders to a more appropriate and less restrictive environment. This move to a less restrictive environment is managed on a level system which negotiates a continuum from segregation placement on one end to a return to general population placement on the other. This level system allows movement in either direction individually determined by each particular offender’s progress in the programming, his behavior and his particular needs. For those individuals that will not be able to progress any further outside of the SSRU, it provides an environment for stabilization and a better quality of life while managing their mental illness within the Department of Corrections.

Enhanced Care Unit


In 2010, an “Aging Offender Management Team” was sponsored by the Department of Corrections, Division of Offender Rehabilitative Services Director, Dr. Mariann Atwell, and a team was tasked with identifying a department-wide process for dealing with the immediate needs of aging offenders and a need to reduce long-term care of offenders in Transitional Care Unit (TCU) beds.

Pilot Program & Start-Up

The implementation of the Enhanced Care Unit began as a 90 day pilot project initiated at the Jefferson City Correctional Center in January 2011. The Enhanced Care Unit involved the support and participation from the administration and a multidisciplinary team within the facility, which included: medical, mental health, custody, classification, maintenance, laundry, food service, and administrative staff. The pilot initiated the development of the offender and staff manuals, referrals/assessments, standard operating procedures, unit schedule, re-design of the lower level bunks/cells and showers (for ease of access), a marketing strategy to promote participation of the offender population in appropriate assignments to the unit, and hiring workers (Daily Living Assistants) and volunteers. Staff selection to work within the ECU was also critical to its success. A one day training session for staff and a two day training program for offender workers was developed in collaboration with University of Kansas, Medical Center—Central Plains Geriatric Education Center, Director Linda Redford and Co-Facilitator/Consultant, Carol McAdoo who have been our subject matter experts (SME), for initial and ongoing elderly care and hospice training.

Enhanced Care Unit & Expansion

The ECU began to thrive after the first year of operation, and later in the second year expanded to a second housing unit wing (A & D wings). Daily Living Assistants are offenders that are trained to provide assistance in daily living needs, grooming, movement and escort to various activities, recreation, medical appointments, and medication pass, etc. This is a very responsible position that becomes more demanding as the geriatric patient’s challenges become more complex and the diminished lifestyle becomes more apparent. The Enhanced Care Unit, also provides socialization activities such as; music and pet therapy, bingo, games and puzzles, exercise equipment (conducive to limited movement), and grief and loss classes. Medical and Mental Health staff complete rounds within the unit, on a daily basis and readily address issues that require their attention. Since coming to the unit, many of the residents are no longer preyed upon due to their declining ability to manage daily activities. They feel safe and surrounded by staff and offenders that care about their well-being, and receive direct care, even when they must be moved to the transitional care unit or hospice. As a result of our ECU successes at the Jefferson City Correctional Center, other facilities (through our assistance), have been able to initiate Enhanced Care Units in other locations throughout the State of Missouri, on behalf of the Department of Corrections.

Moving Forward

As the offender population continues to age and develop comprehensive medical issues, the Enhanced Care Unit will continue to expand. Since the start of the program, we have seen an increase in offenders with dementia, Alzheimer’s, loss of lung function, and cancer. These offenders need constant monitoring, and at times, a more secure living situation due to the symptoms associated with these illnesses. In the future, an Enhanced Care Unit wing will need to be designated for these offenders so that they can continue to receive care from Daily Living Assistants but be more secure to protect everyone’s safety.

JCCC continues to provide excellent public safety through secure confinement, holding offenders accountable for their behavior, and preparing the offenders to be law abiding and productive citizens. At the same time, JCCC serves as a good neighbor to the Jefferson City community and surrounding areas.