Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center
In July 1995 House Bill 18.230 authorized the construction of ERDCC, and in the fall of 1995 Bonne Terre was selected as the site of the new facility. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on August 1, 1997 and site excavation work began.
Following many obstacles, including suits filed by Opponents of Prison Site, Inc. to stop the construction, and Alberici Construction Company filing a failed bidder’s suit, the state issued a “Notice to Proceed” with construction on May 27, 1999.
On September 4, 2001 the contractor turned over the prison to the state based on “substantial completion” of the construction work.
On September 7, 2001 a total of 24 staff, including maintenance and security staff were hired to maintain and secure the facility. ERDCC held its dedication ceremony on February 10, 2003 with attendance by Governor Bob Holden, Department of Corrections directors, local dignitaries and staff.
ERDCC is a Medium/Maximum Level, 3,000+ bed facility located on 213 acres, approximately one mile east of Highway 67 on Highway K in Bonne Terre, Missouri, which serves as the reception facility for male offenders committed by the courts in Eastern Missouri. The perimeter of the facility encompasses 76 acres, which has 19 buildings, including four reception and diagnostic housing units, one minimum security housing unit, six general population housing units, a building housing a gym, chapel, education, library, and general population medical unit, an industries building, a building that houses reception and diagnostic intake, food service, medical, records, psychology and custody supervisory offices. In addition, our administration building houses all administrative offices, the officers’ assembly room, visiting entrance, main control center entry and armory.
Outside the perimeter are two buildings that include maintenance, the power plant, warehouse, the cook-chill operation and the institutional mail room.
Educational programs, a chemical products industry, both medical and mental health services, and religious services are available on site, as well as recreational activities.
The Classification Services department at ERDCC consists of (2) Assistant Wardens, Functional Unit Managers, Corrections Case Managers, Corrections Classification Assistants and Office Support Assistant’s. These staff members are responsible for the daily operations of the Housing Units in which the offenders are housed. They are responsible for many aspects of the offenders daily lives, such as diagnostic evaluations, work assignments, housing unit assignments, transfers, visiting, Reclassification analysis, Adult Internal Reclassification Analysis, protective custody needs, reception and orientation, counseling, clothing issues, etc.
The majority of the housing units have a Functional Unit Manager, Case Manager and Office Support Assistant. Each housing unit holds approximately 288 offenders with the exception of our minimum security unit that holds 96 offenders. ERDCC has housing units for offenders who fall into any of the following categories:
- General Population
- Administrative Segregation
- Protective Custody
- Diagnostic Needs
- Work Release
Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT)
The Emergency Response Team is a group of personnel within an Institution skilled and trained in providing special assistance in the event of emergencies which may prove to be a threat to the safety and security of the institution or the public.
The Eastern Region Diagnostic and Correctional Center employs 438 uniformed officers. This cadre of staff is dedicated to the custody and control of the offender population.
The primary mission of this group is to protect public safety. This mission is achieved by ensuring offenders are securely confined within the perimeter of the institution, and staff and offenders are safe.
The group is comprised of:
- Correctional Officers that provide general, first-line supervision of offenders and man security posts at strategic locations.
- Correction Officers II (Sergeant) that provide front-line supervision and assistance to Correction Officers I and man some of the more critical security posts.
- Correction Officers III (Lieutenant) are tasked with supervision of specific security zones within the institution and serve as shift supervisor during absence of a captain.
- Correction Supervisors I (Captain) are assigned as the shift supervisors. They are responsible for maintaining proper staffing levels and oversee the overall security plan, 24 hours daily.
- Correction Supervisors II (Major) are the Chief of Security and Custody of the offenders assigned to ERDCC and is responsible for the institution.
ERDCC’s Academic Education team consists of seven regular classroom teachers, three special education teachers, one office support assistant, and one education supervisor, as well as assistance by offender tutors. This school can serve up to 360 offenders at any given time. The mission of this team is to provide a positive, efficient, and stimulating learning environment. Together, they deliver individualized instruction enabling each student to achieve their academic potential as well as prepare them for a better quality of life.
Classroom teachers work with students at kindergarten through twelfth grade levels. Special education teachers provide services and support to qualifying offenders under the age of 22. Each classroom offers supplemental learning activities using a student computer network and Smart-board technology.
In addition to direct instruction within the classrooms, Academic Education provides other services to the offender population. Educational materials and testing opportunities are offered to offenders unavailable to attend school due to assignment to special housing units. Offenders interested in earning college credit through correspondence courses receive work with the education supervisor to arrange for classes and complete examinations.
During the 2014 Fiscal Year, the school served 762 students, 92 whom received special education services. During Fiscal Year 2015, the school served 809 students, 78 of whom received special education services. We have had 54 offenders take the GED/HSE.
The Diagnostic Educational Department consists of:
- Educational Supervisors
- Academic Teachers
- Special Education Teachers
- Speech/Language Pathologists
- Licensed Professional Counselors
- Guidance Counselors
- Educational Caseworkers
Diagnostic Education consists of a group of professional educational diagnosticians whose purpose is to provide an academic and vocational assessment of all offenders who enter the MODOC and are received at the Reception and Diagnostic Center. As part of this assessment goal, we determine and assign the educational score and the vocational score. These scores are assigned prior to classification and become part of their initial classification analysis assignment scores.
The diagnostic education team works with the utmost integrity in conjunction with other sections and departments, to include Classification & Assignment, Records, Mental Health, Intake, Medical and Housing Unit Staff, in order to foster compliance with federal and state educational laws and guidelines and the Department of Corrections’ policy.
Offenders under age 22 who may be eligible for special education services under IDEA, are administered a full battery of academic and cognitive assessments to determine areas of educational disability, if any. For those offenders who are found to be in need of special education services, Individual Education Plans are developed with the offenders. Some offenders are found to qualify to request GED Accommodations, such as extended time. These offenders are educated on the process of requesting accommodations.
Those offenders who have scored at a 10.0 grade level or above in both math and reading qualify to begin the process of obtaining a HiSET while still in diagnostic status. For these offenders, HiSET Applications are submitted to DESE, study materials are made available, qualifying pre-tests are administered, and HiSET testing is conducted, if at all possible. Many other offenders are transferred to their institutions with qualifying pre-test scores in place. The offenders are able to take the first scheduled HiSET at their receiving institutions. By obtaining a HiSET right away, these offenders qualify to apply for vocational training, correspondence courses, and premium pay jobs at their institution.
The ERDCC diagnostic education department is also responsible for providing academic and vocational assessments of all offenders at Farmington Correctional Center in the Youthful Offender Unit. Diagnosticians travel as necessary to administer tests and conduct meetings with the offenders and FCC educational staff in order to comply with federal and state laws and compliance guidelines, as well as Department of Corrections’ policy.
Paws For a Cause
Paws For a Cause, is ERDCC’s name for our program of Puppies for Parole.
The Puppies for Parole program began as part of a statewide initiative developed by DOC Director George Lombardi in 2010. ERDCC was the second institution in Missouri to welcome dogs, with the first dogs arriving March 30, 2010. Partnering with Diana’s Grove Dog Rescue, offender volunteers provide obedience training to these dogs in an effort to make them more adoptable, and, ultimately, lifelong family pets. ERDCC offenders have trained dogs during the course of the program.
Since the program’s inception, not only are dogs receiving obedience training and AKC Canine Good Citizenship Awards, but some are placed in an advanced training program to become helper dogs. These dogs are trained in more advanced skills, such as turning on light switches, opening doors, and various other task that provide assistance. To date, four dogs have been provided with this advanced training.
The Puppies for Parole program is not just about dogs, however. There are real benefits to the offender population for having the presence of dogs in the facility. This program gives offenders the skills necessary to support successful rehabilitation and reentry, ultimately improving public safety. At the same time, this is an opportunity for the offenders to re-pay Missouri communities and repair some of the debts caused by their crimes. We have seen this program have a profound effect on the inmates and staff, increasing the safety and security of the facility.
The cooperation between staff and offenders has made this program a success. The program offers a special privilege to the offenders who live with, train, and love the dogs. While the offenders are ready to instantly accept and love the dogs, there are often dogs who have never known love, positive attention, and all the things they need — often severely abused, starved or discarded, these dogs are scared and afraid to trust anyone.
Our handlers are carefully picked to participate in the program. The criterion that must be met is:
- Offenders must meet the criteria and live in the incentive unit
- Offenders are ineligible if they have a sex conviction
- Offenders cannot have received a major violation or a violation for rule #11 in the past 24 months
Offenders who meet this criteria must submit an application to the Paws for a Cause coordinator, where the offender’s behavior and background is carefully reviewed. If acceptable, the Coordinator and co-coordinator interview each offender. If approved, the offender is placed on a waiting list.
The handlers train the dogs in basic obedience with a goal of being able to pass the Canine Good Citizen Test, and of course to make them more adoptable.
This is a very positive program for DOC — everyone benefits.
“The dogs have a remarkable impact on MDOC offenders, improving offender behavior and giving offenders incentive to maintain excellent conduct records. Offenders not directly involved in the program are showing responsibility and selflessness by donating to support our efforts. Staff morale is also enhanced by the presence of the dogs.” – George A. Lombardi
Food Service employs 27 staff and 203 offenders and prepares approximately 8289 offender and 41 staff meals daily. ERDCC is a Cook-Chill Receptor Site, receiving a portion of our main entrée items from the Eastern Region Cook-Chill facility. The majority of menu items are prepared fresh at ERDCC’s production kitchen with the Cook-Chill items being re-thermed on site.
ERDCC serves the general population and reception and diagnostic offenders from three dining rooms, which seats 152 and a staff dining room. Administrative segregation offenders are fed in their housing units. Staff is provided one free meal per shift due to their responsibility in the supervision of offenders throughout the meal period. No budget is allocated to provide for staff meals.
The ERDCC Laundry Department is a fully operational facility with a tailor shop, where we alter staff uniforms, repair and produce offender clothing and bedding. Our laundry is equipped with 2-150 pound UNI MAC washer/extractor machines, 2-200 pound B&C Technology Dryers and 2-100 pound Cissell dryers. These machines are computer controlled and run with a chemical injection system and an ozone aquafusion system. Our laundry department is operated with 4 to 5 offender workers that are cross trained to be able to run sewing machines or operate washing equipment. ERDCC services approximately 3100 offenders five days a week and process over 950, 000 pounds of laundry, annually.
Eastern Reception Diagnostic and Correctional Center provides a full service library to meet the informational and recreational reading needs of offenders. ERDCC strives to mirror a public library in atmosphere and operation. The ERDCC Library houses over 13,500 items including fiction and non-fiction books, books on tape, reference materials, magazines, newspapers and catalogs. Photo copy services are provided following policy guidelines.
During 2014 18,521 general population and special unit offenders came into the library. During that time, 47,464 materials were circulated, 9,300 books were supplied to diagnostic and segregation units, 10,326 legal resources were used and 3,615 legal requests were filled for offenders in special units.
The law library is an important service of the library. Department of Corrections policy and procedure are available for review in the law library. These explain and define the operations and activities for the institution. There are 13 computers that access Lexis legal materials. Legal access to offenders I provided through a secured connection to a customized correctional interface with Lexis/Nexis. These are for use by general population offenders for legal research. Non-attorney, trained clerks are available to assist offenders with doing research. There is no charge for help from Law Library Assistants.
A wide variety of mail services are provided for the offender population, including both incoming and outgoing letters and packages. ERDCC’s mailroom employs three full time mailroom clerks and one mailroom supervisor who handle an average of 2700 pieces of incoming mail and 2400 pieces of outgoing mail each day. The mailroom processes an average 250-275 e mails for Access Corrections.
An average 45 incoming packages per day are processed for offenders. An average of 50 packages are mailed out weekly for offenders newly assigned to the Reception and Diagnostic Center.
The institutional mailroom delivers all official mail for staff to their secured mailboxes on a daily basis. This includes leave slips averaging 75-90 per day, and at times up to 150 per day.
Additionally, the mailroom handles all special service mail for both offenders and staff, including certified, return receipt, insured, priority, express mail and restricted deliveries. The mailroom supervisor responds in writing to newly assigned offenders daily on questions they have regarding mailroom procedures. The mailroom supervisor investigates and responds to several Internal Resolution Requests weekly.
The Eastern Reception Diagnostic and Correctional Center (ERDCC) is a maximum security prison located in eastern Bonne Terre, Missouri. The center covers 213 total acres and has 26 buildings with a total of 696,819 square feet of general floor space. The inner perimeter encompasses 76 acres and has 19 buildings, including four reception and diagnostic housing units, a minimum-security unit and six general population housing units. It also includes a building housing a library, gymnasium, chapel, education and general population medical unit, an industry building and a building which houses reception and diagnostic intake, food service. Records, psychology and custody supervisory offices.
An institution of this scope, with the needed infrastructure and physical power plant that supply it, requires the services of an experienced maintenance and engineering team. We currently utilize a diverse, full time staff of 36 state employees, as well as numerous offenders, both inside and outside the perimeter. Among our maintenance staff, there are virtually all trades represented in areas such as carpentry, electrical, plumbing, grounds keeping, fleet maintenance, HVAC & refrigeration, welding & fabrication, electronics and locking systems.
In addition to regularly scheduled preventive maintenance tasks, the ERDCC maintenance department performs an average of 6780 work orders per year.
Medical services at ERDCC are contracted services provided by Corizon Health Services. Corizon Health provides comprehensive medical services to the entire offender population at ERDCC. Some of the common medical conditions seen in the correctional environment include cardiovascular disease, hypertension, asthma, diabetes, seizure disorder, fractures, cancer, chronic pain, wounds, rashes and skin disorders, HIV, hepatitis C, COPD and respiratory disorders, and general decline and inability to care for self due to aging. We average 1800 chronic care enrollments. Our 24 bed infirmary provides geriatric services, rehabilitative services, and acute care. An annual Offender Health Fair is held with an average of 500 offenders attending. We provide on-site telemedicine services including, but not limited to surgical, orthopedic, cardiovascular and neurology consults. There is a consistent increase in the telemedicine providers. Additionally, the medical department provides full medical services to the ECU and Baseline Housing programs.
Corizon Health provides extensive on-site services. We have a full size x-ray suite that provides radiology services Monday through Friday. On-site lab services obtain and processes an average of 1,500 lab specimens monthly. Orthopedic and prosthetic services are provided on-site on a bi-monthly average. A physical therapy vendor provides on-site services on a bi-monthly average to address physical and occupational therapy needs. We provide full optometry services with a combination of our staff optometrists and an outside optometry vendor that comes on-site as needed.
Corizon Health has worked closely with DOC staff to achieve certifications, accreditations, and training in order to streamline site processes and better both departments. The medical department maintains CLIA certification to allow for on-site laboratory services. The site HSA and both DON’s are field mentors in their respective roles. The medical department has three CPR instructors and one CPR Instructor/Monitor, allowing for all CPR certification and re-certification to be completed on-site. The ERDCC medical department has one of the most comprehensive new employee training and orientation programs in the state.
ERDCC Medical Department is staffed with a total of 80 employees, this includes two full-time medical physicians, one part-time medical physician, four dentists, two optometrists and two nurse practitioners in addition to nursing, radiology, pharmacy, clerical, and administrative staff.
One TB/ Infection Control nurses and two Chronic Care Nurses are staffed to coordinate and track patients with Infectious or Chronic Diseases, i.e. Hypertension, Diabetes, Asthma, HIV, Hepatitis, Tuberculosis, Seizures, Cardiovascular Disease, etc.
Health Fairs are held annually and education is provided on a regular basis orally and through written pamphlets and educational booklets.
Continuous Quality Improvement Programs are in place to identify problem areas. Quality improvement audits are completed monthly and repeated twice annually at a minimum.
Mental Health Services are offered to all offenders at ERDCC. Services are provided by licensed professional counselors, licensed social workers, psychologists, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, a psychiatrist and two registered nurses. Offenders who are enrolled in the Mental Health Chronic Care Clinic will see a Qualified Mental Health Professional (QMHP) on a monthly basis and the psychiatrist or nurse practitioner up to every ninety days. All offenders are offered services at their request by using a Health Services Request (HSR) and are eligible to participate in psychoeducational groups. Offenders in segregation are given the opportunity to speak to a QMHP during weekly segregation rounds.
The Reception and Diagnostic side of ERDCC assesses offenders as they come from various county jails. During this process, they are given an IQ Test and a neuropsychological screen to determine levels of functioning. From these testing scores, offenders may be referred to specialty units throughout the state. All offenders are also initially given a brief psychological assessment to potentially identify any mental health concerns. Those offenders that are identified are enrolled in the Chronic Care Clinic and followed by an assigned QMHP and psychiatric staff. Offenders can request to see a QMHP with an HSR. The General Population side of ERDCC houses offenders that are completing their sentences. Some offenders are enrolled in Chronic Care and receive monthly treatment from their assigned QMHP as well as psychiatric care every ninety days. All offenders are provided mental health care at their request with an HSR and are offered groups. For offenders that are in segregation, an in-cell program is offered that allows offenders to work one on one with a QMHP to help provide coping skills that my address any challenges they may be facing, such as depression, stress, anxiety and anger management.
The Records Department at ERDCC employs:
- Corrections Records Officers III
- Corrections Officers I
- Senior Office Support Assistants (SOSA)
- Office Support Assistants (OSA)
These staff are charged with the creation and maintenance of all of the ERDCC offender files. The Sentence and Judgment (S&J) file contains each offender’s legal sentencing papers, face sheets, detainers, pictures, release papers, Writs and other paperwork. The Classification file contains all of the classification information handled by the Reception & Diagnostic (R&D) caseworkers. As each new offender is received at ERDCC his files are created in the Records Department.
ERDCC received our first offenders through our R&D receiving area in February 2003. We receive an average of 5,633 offenders per year. As the counties from our region arrive at our R&D receiving area, the Records Office is given the legal documents for each offender.
It is here that our process begins. We verify that the sentencing paperwork from the court is correct, as in the correct number of years sentenced for the Class of felony for that offense, that the judge has signed the sentencing paperwork and so forth. Once we have determined that each offender should be in the Missouri Department Of Corrections (DOC) we figure out what their status code for entry into our computer system should be and enter the offender’s information into the DOC statewide system.
From here the paperwork goes on to staff for the calculation of sentence release dates, criminal histories to be ran, detainees to be placed, more computer entry, copies to be made and distributed and the actual file creation. Once the files are created the Classification file goes on to the caseworker and the S&J file is filed in the Records file room.
After the offender has been through the R&D process all of his files end up back in the Records Department and are kept in the file room until the offender transfers to another institution or is released. The Records Department is also responsible for the boxing and sending of the offenders files to the new institution as they are transferred or to the archives in Fulton as they are released. The ERDCC Records Department handles the transfer of approximately 300 offenders per month.
As offender’s become eligible for release, the Records Department processes these releases including the running of a MULEs check to verify there are no active Wants or Warrants on these offenders. If there are active warrants we assure the law agency with the warrant is aware of the release and determine if they will pick the offender up. The Records office at ERDCC averages 80 releases per month.
From the time the first original Sentencing paperwork is handed to the Records office at the offenders’ arrival until the offenders leave ERDCC, the Records Department is responsible for the maintenance of approximately 2,900 offenders files.
The Recreation Department at ERDCC supervises approximately 1,200 general population offenders and 150 protective custody offenders. The general population housing units have small games available so offenders can play when it is not their recreation yard time.
Reception and diagnostic offenders have small games available in the housing units, which can be used during their recreation time. There is a television in each wing for offender viewing. The programs shown are scheduled by the Recreation Department.
Daily activities offered at ERDCC:
- Basketball – (3) full courts, 1 in the gym, 1 on B-yard & 1 on D-yard
- Weight lifting – 1 full weight room in the gym, 1 multi-weight machine on A, B & D yards
- Softball – (3) softball fields: 1 each on A, B & D yards
- Cork Ball – Played in the outfield of softball fields
- Pickle Ball – (2) courts: 1 in the gym & 1 on A-yard
- Bocce Ball – (2) courts: 1 on B-yard & 1 on D-yard
- Music – Guitars only
- Running/Walking – Trails on A, B & D-yards
- Washers – 6 sets: 2 on A-yard, 2 on B-yard & 2 on D-yard
- Volley Ball – 1 indoor in gym, 1 sand court on B & D-yard
- Exercise Equipment – in gym 2 stationary bikes, 2 treadmills & 2 ellipticals in Housing Unit 11 one each
- Game Room – Ping Pong Table, Foosball Table & 5 Tables to play board & card games
- 55 inch color TV with seating.
ERDCC Recreation Offers Organized Seasonal Leagues. The Leagues are organized and run just like the community leagues. The offenders sign up, and then they are drafted onto teams that are coached by offenders. The officials are trained and tested by the staff. The following is the leagues that we offer: Softball, Basketball, Badminton, Pickle Ball, Bocce Ball & Trivia.
We also offer different types of tournaments and Holiday activities which include the following: Putt-Putt Golf, Chess, Checkers, Dominoes, Card Games, Bean Bag Toss, Hillbilly Golf, Free Throw & 3-Point contest etc. These events are designed for all age groups and offenders with disabilities. We offer all offenders including General Population, Protective Custody and Housing Unit #11 an opportunity to participate in various recreational activities on a day to day basis throughout the year.
All the equipment that is used in the Recreation Department is purchased through the Offender Canteen Fund.
Missouri Vocational Enterprises
Missouri Vocational Enterprises Chemical Products/Cardboard Factory at ERDCC started production February 2004 after spending close to five decades at the Old Missouri State Penitentiary “MSP”. The Chemical Products plant moved after the State Legislation decided to build a new prison in Jefferson City to replace the oldest active prison west of the Mississippi. The old MSP (aka The Walls) housed many of the MVE industry programs. With the new prison limits of area to keep all the MVE programs, it was decided that some of these industries would be spread out to other newer facilities throughout the state. ERDCC would get the Chemical Products plant and also the Cardboard Plant to be placed in at the newly opened prison in Bonne Terre.
MVE’s objective is to provide job skills, training and work ethics to the offender workers that helps ensure that when they return to society, they are a productive member of that society. Chemical Products/Cardboard Factory employs 38-50 offenders. These offenders are also given the opportunity to take part in the Federal U.S. Department of Labor Apprenticeship Program. MVE pays offender workers by the hour for their labor. These workers average pay between $70-$120 per month. These funds can be spent at the institution canteen, sent home to family members or provide funds when the offender is released.
Chemical Products produces over 60 janitorial floor care, personal and laundry products. These products are produced to be the highest in performance, quality and cost that includes meeting the latest in environmental standards. Cardboard produced over four million square feet of corrugated boxes in FY15. These chemical and cardboard products serve all of Missouri State Agencies, cities, counties, non-profit organizations and state employees. We strive to produce the highest quality product for the best price to save the citizens of this state.
MVE operates on a working capital fund and does not receive any tax dollars from the general revenue.
The Training Department at ERDCC plays a vital role in the operation of the facility by offering a variety of important services. ERDCC’s Training Department prepares new employees for service through a process of orientation and in-service training which is conducted by the Institutional Training Officer and various staff. All newly hired employees receive on-the-job training at various posts throughout the institution conducted by “Field Training Officers” (employees who have received this designation by completing necessary training as required by the department). New hires’ progress is monitored and they are mentored throughout their probationary period by the Institutional and Assistant Training Officers.
The Training Department also provides continued education, training and re-certification to all staff, so that everyone can perform their duties in a safe manner. The Institutional and the Assistant Training Officers must develop a program that satisfies the annual training requirements of all our 700 employees; each of whom are required to complete a 30-hour training session each year. They are responsible for planning, developing and conducting training courses, as well as coordinating instructors for those classes. All custody staff must be re-certified in Defensive Tactics, Firearms, Qualification and CPR/First Aid. Additionally, employees are offered specialized training in a variety of topics including: Staff/Offender Relations, Workplace Violence, Controversial Groups, Standard First Aid, and Conflict Resolution through Communication, Riots, Disturbances and Hostages, Stress Management and Staff Survival, as well as courses specific to the employee’s area of responsibility. The Training Department also coordinates requests submitted by staff for training offered by the Department of Corrections, as well as classes offered by private organizations. The ERDCC Training Department must be aware of, and strive to satisfy all of the training requirements of all staff members at the institution.
Another responsibility of the Training Department is the ordering and distribution of uniforms to all correctional officers. From their hire date, and as wear dictates replacements throughout the officer’s career, providing uniforms to all correctional officers is another area of service provided by this department.
Urinalysis test collections are performed by the ERDCC Training Staff for prospective employees of not only the Department of Corrections, but also contract staff. These “drops” are submitted to a lab in Jefferson City for analysis, along with all paperwork required to properly assess the drug screen on the potential employee.
Visiting at Eastern Reception Diagnostic & Correctional Center consists of three visiting areas with a combined seating of approximately 147 (including offenders). We have available a wide variety of games and coloring books for the children that may come to visit. Each visitor is allowed to bring an ample amount of change into the visiting room to allow them to purchase sandwiches, chips, sodas, etc. Ample food visit opportunities are also afforded.
On an average month, these visiting rooms will accommodate approximately 1430 visitors. The visiting rooms are open Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 9:30 a.m.—1:30 p.m. & 2:30 p. m.—6:30 p.m. There is an average of 92 visitors processed each day that the visiting rooms are open. ERDCC staff strives to be helpful and friendly to all that come to visit.
Work Release Programs
ERDCC’s Minimum Security/Work Release Unit (MSU) is a 96 bed open bay unit which houses well behaved, educationally prepared, mentally and physically able offenders with non-violent, non-sexual crimes and generally within 3 years of release and a custody level of C1.
Most offenders are eligible to leave the security envelop of the prison and work as outside workers or work release offenders. Outside workers fill jobs on the institution grounds outside of the fences such as at Cook Chill, Warehouse, Power Plant, Maintenance, Garage, Administration Building, Training Building or Outside Grounds Crew.
Work Release offenders are supervised by civilians and leave the prison grounds. Offenders provide such services as trash pickup, mowing, weed trimming and brush removal. ERDCC provides offender workers for Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) crews. These offenders help to maintain the highways by picking up trash and providing weed trimming along the shoulders and medians of the highways in some local cities.
In addition to the outside work release programs, offenders are assigned to outside clearance positions and must meet strict criteria for selection. Those positions include:
- Cook-Chill (12 offenders): Offenders fill Cook-Chill orders requested by FCC, ERDCC, PCC, MECC, SLCRC and SECC. Offenders must be forklift certified and able to work in conditions of 10-32 degrees. Job duties include assisting the storekeeper stocking freight received, preparing meat for the next day’s production, unloading receiving trucks, filling warehouse orders, assisting storekeepers counting all freight at the end of the month, cleaning ERDW trucks, and cleaning the dock area.
- Warehouse (4 offenders): Offenders must be fork-lift certified to load and unload warehouse supplies. Offenders fill supply orders and assists the storekeeper in delivering orders within the institution.
- Garage (2 offenders): Offenders perform routine maintenance of vehicles under the direct supervision of the garage supervisor, i.e., changing oil and grease, rotate tires, wash exterior-clean interior of vehicles. One of these offenders is responsible for tool check in/out, inventories, and general cleaning of the work area, office and restrooms
- Outside Grounds (10 offenders): Offenders perform a variety of tasks to include mowing grass, weed eat, excavate grounds, service equipment, trash pick up, cut wood, snow and ice removal.
- Administration (5 offenders): Offenders responsible for daily cleaning of Administration Complex/Visiting area, all offices and restrooms. One offender is assigned to process all laundry/dry cleaning for staff. This offender has the responsibility of handling money for these services and providing daily cash balances with the business office. One offender is assigned to the training for cleaning.
- Power Plant & Maintenance (2 offenders): These offenders help maintenance crews as needed. Offenders provide general cleaning services in the power plant, offices and restrooms.
Housing Unit 11 offenders participate in Restorative Justice by maintaining 4 vegetable gardens inside the institution on D-yard and one outside the institution by the training building along with a pear orchard consisting of 20 pear trees. Additionally, the offenders are utilizing innovative techniques by growing tomatoes and peppers in 5 gallon buckets, Irish potatoes and Sweet potatoes in wire “towers” along with cucumbers and radishes in potting mix bags. The items grown are donated to area food pantries, senior centers, homeless shelters, children’s homes and day care centers.
Last year (2014) ERDCC produced a total of 4,622 pounds of food for charity. ERDCC in 2015 planted a number of cold weather crops in the early spring and began donating months earlier to the Park Hills Senior Center and the Madison County Senior Center. The early crops consisted of turnips, radishes, lettuce, spinach, peas, beets and dill. ERDCC plans to continue making donations in the fall by once again planting cold weather crops.
- Must be custody level 1.
- No drug or associated conduct violations in the past year
- No history of supervised escapes (unsupervised escapes/absconds will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis)
- Must be an MH1, MH2, MH3 with Mental health approval, or below (no psychotropic medications)
- No sex offense convictions in any state
- No unresolved felony wants/warrants or detainers
- Must be an E-1 (verified high school diploma or GED)
- Offenders with a history of violence (either institutional or criminal history) will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis
- Must be I-1 (Institutional score of 1)
A full range of chaplaincy services are provided to the offender population by a full time chaplain and auxiliary volunteer chaplaincy staff. These services include counseling, providing assistance in acquiring approved religious items, processing clergy visitors, processing marriage applications, helping offenders prepare for their future release, and much more. A Chapel library of faith-based books, CDs and DVDs is also available for offenders to check out materials that increase understanding and growh in religious and spiritual matters. Bibles, Qur’ans and other religious literature that is donated by outside religious organizations is passed on free of charge to offenders who request them. Religious correspondence courses are also approved and provided for interested offenders.
Over 80 volunteers assist in leading more than 25 different religious programs and providing services in the inter-faith chapel to meet the needs of the diverse faith groups accommodated by the Department of Corrections. These faith groups include Al-Islam, Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestant Christian, Jehovah’s Witness, Judaism, Latter Day Saints, Messianic, Moorish Science Temple of America, Nation of Islam, Native American, and Wicca. Specialized ministry teams known as Prison Fellowship, Rock of Ages, and Residents Encounter Christ also provide 2-4 day programs of inspiration and instruction on either a semi-annual or quarterly basis.
Attendance at chapel services and programs for all faith groups combined averages approximately 1800-2000 offenders per month. Assistance is also given to those who chose a solitary practice of their chosen faith perspective.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
This group helps offenders obtain sobriety and remain sober by showing them how their choices from addiction has an adverse and damaging effect on them, family and the community. Four volunteers presently service 25 offenders in this group.
Abused Boys/Wounded Men
Abused Boys is a 6-week course for men who have been abused emotionally, physically, spiritually, or sexually, and how it contributes to criminal behavior. Two staff members facilitate this program.
Aftercare is for men who have completed ICVC, Abused Boys/Wounded Men, or other programs. This program provides daily maintenance of their recovery and examination of criminal behavior.
This is a 14-week program designed to educate offenders on the role anger plays in their life, how to identify triggers of anger, and anger management techniques. Eleven staff members facilitate this program.
This program is about criminal thinking and how offender’s criminal thoughts lead to their choices.
Employability Skills/Life Skills
This is a 12-week workplace readiness class for offenders nearing release. The class covers topics such as money management, communication skills, and goal planning. Eight staff members facilitate this program.
This organization is an affiliate of Toastmasters International, a club that teaches effective communication and leadership skills. The main focus is public speaking.
General Education Development (GED)
This program is conducted by D.O.R.S. education department staff and gives offenders an opportunity to complete their educational requirements to earn an HiSET diploma.
Impact of Crime on Victims (ICVC)
This is a 5-week program designed to educate offenders how crime affects the offender’s family, the victim and their family, and the community as a whole. Six staff members facilitate this program with the Victims Impact Panel.
This is a 13-week program designed to help incarcerated fathers learn to be more responsible, committed, and involved fathers. Four staff members facilitate this program.
Living in Balance
This is a 12-week program designed to educate offenders of the nature and effects of substance abuse. Five staff members facilitate this program.
Pathways to Change
This is a 13-week program which better enables individuals to make healthier choices through improved understanding of communications and thought processes. Eleven staff members facilitate this program.
This is a 10-week faith based addictions program. This program addresses a variety of additions from bad habits to substance abuse. Two volunteers facilitate this program.
This organization offers offenders a way to take accountability and give back to the communities through non-profit organizations. It is geared toward helping others.
Restorative Justice Project Room
This gives offenders the opportunity to give back by volunteering their time to make flash cards, coloring books, journals and greeting cards. All the items go to a non-profit organization called Kid Smart, inner city school teachers have the opportunity to use the products made in the classrooms. Offenders also make knitted hats. The hats go to needed charities.
This program offers a way for offenders to reach out to loved ones by reading a book to their children or grandchildren. It is recorded and therefore enables the child to hear the offender’s voice.
Substance Abuse is an intense 12 week, 12 hour per week, class that is facilitated by the Substance Abuse Counselor. Offenders are asked to address the ways substance abuse & criminal thinking have affected their lives. Class focuses on alcohol & drug education, socialization, criminal & addictive thinking, relapse prevention through a range of classroom modalities including lectures, written assignments, videos, interactive activities, group discussions and group counseling.
This is a 10-week faith based program which teaches offenders about various temperaments and their respective strengths and weaknesses so that they can improve their personal and professional relationships. One volunteer facilitates this program.
Other Organizations/Charitable Efforts
- Toastmasters Gavel Club (25 participating offenders)
- Restorative Justice (25 participating offenders)
- Kid Smart (warehouse for inner city schools, Crafts for Conviction)
- Story Link (reading books for children) (56 participating offenders, 8 volunteers assist in this program)
Many offenders wish to make a contribution to society and involve themselves in charitable efforts. Others feel the need for support and join special interest groups. The following are some of those charitable efforts during the past year:
- 106,998 hours were donated
- 268 offenders volunteered their time
- $6,370.00 was donated
- 3,224 hours were donated
- 238 offenders volunteered their time
- Products include: flash cards, journals, coloring/activity books, book marks, and other special projects that teachers request
St. Jude Cards
- 1,185 cards were donated by offenders
- 31 knitted hats were delivered to Southeast Family Violence Council
- 150 hats were knitted and delivered to Military Mamas
- 50 baby hats were knitted and delivered to St Louis Crisis Nursery
- 61 hats were knitted and delivered to Kids Smart
- 18 hats were knitted and delivered to Warrenton Elementary
- 200 hats were delivered to Back at You
- 50 baby hats were knitted and delivered to Parkland Hospital
- 100 hats were delivered to Catholic Charities
- 40 hats were delivered to Centerville School
- 1330 hours were donated
- 32 offenders volunteered their time
- 3,810 lbs of produce was delivered to: Fredericktown Senior Center, Park Hills Senior Center, Madison County Food Pantry and Harvest of Hope Emergency Fund.
- $100.00 was donated to Parents of Murdered Children
- $200.00 was donated to KidSmart
- $200.00 was donated to A Friend’s Place Shelter
- $1000.00 was donated to Central Elementary
- $500.00 was donated to North County Schools Project Graduation
- $520.00 was donated to Bonne Terre Chamber of Commerce
- $100.00 was donated to Cardinal Glennon Childrens Hospital
- $1000.00 was donated to North County Backpack Program
- $200.00 was donated to New Beginnings
- $750.00 was donated to Parents As Teachers
St Louis University Program (SLU)
• Dr. Ken Parker first contacts ERDCC 2007 with a concept and initial funding.
• Certificate in Theological Studies was the first official class conducted by St. Louis University at ERDCC. The Certificate Program consisted of five undergraduate courses resulting in 15 college credit.
• Classes began January, 2008 and concluded May 2010.
• Fall 2010 marked the beginning of the Prison Arts & Education Program.
• There are five major components of the Prison Arts and Education Program: the Inside Out Speaker Series, Workshops, Video-in-Prison Project, The Beautiful Prison, and the Inside Out Annual.
• Average attendance is 50+ offenders and 10-12 staff members.
• 32 Speaker Events (since Fall 2010), 18 workshops, Video in Prison (provided 10 DVDs to date). 6 Beautiful Prison Colloquiums (since Dec 2010), 3 Inside Out Annual.
• Saint Louis University’s School of Professional Studies (SPS), in partnership with the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S), agreed to administer a series of four certificate programs leading to an Associate of Arts degree for staff and incarcerated persons at the Eastern Reception Diagnostic and Correction Center (ERDCC) in Bonne Terre, Missouri.
• April 2011, the MODOC & Saint Louis University began the partnership to provide college courses to 20 DOC employees and 20 offenders at the Eastern Reception Diagnostic and Correction Center. Classes began soon afterward.
• The AA program concludes with a capstone course. If everything goes as scheduled, the first AA degrees will wrap up summer of 2015.
• 14 Staff students (most we had 17 and fewest 11. A few dropped out due to changes in job, health problems, family commitments, etc.)
• 18 incarcerated students (began class with 19 offenders and loss of 1 student due to a custody level transfer).
• There were 12 offenders that recently graduated on November 23, 2015.
Enhanced Care Unit
ERDCC’s Enhanced Care Unit provides secure residential placement to offenders with a limiting medical or mental health condition(s) which cannot be accommodated in general population; however, does not require 24 hour medical care (such as an infirmary bed), however they do have Daily Living Assistants assigned to them which are offenders that have been assigned to assist an ECU offender with activities of daily living. This could include, but is not limited to: assistance with grooming, dressing, laundry, canteen, correspondence, getting to meals, medical,visits, etc. Health Services Staff will complete daily well being checks on all offenders assigned to the Enhanced Care Unit.
ERDCC’s Enhanced Care Unit consists of 30 approved offender patients with 20 offender Daily Living Assistants and 22 assigned offender helper/pushers, hazardous material, and wing workers.
To be placed into ERDCC’s ECU offenders will be examined by Health Services Staff and must meet this minimum criteria:
Minimum criteria will include, but is not limited to:
- Offenders with mild to moderate levels of need for health services
- May have problems with mobility, cognition or a combination of issues
- Age 50 and above
- Requires continuous oxygen
- Wheelchair bound
- Needing assistance with activities of daily living (ambulating, eating, mobility, etc.)
- Problems with memory and/or orientation
Offenders assigned to the ECU are afforded the same programs and services as other general population offenders. However, deviations may be implemented to meet special needs such as offenders with serious mobility issues. If the outside temperature falls below 20 degrees Fahrenheit or the heat index exceeds 100 degree Fahrenheit, or any other inclement weather, all services, to include medical, mental health and food service will be provided in the ECU unit.
The Learning Center
In a continued effort to promote the Missouri Department of Corrections’ focus on re-entry and rehabilitation, ERDCC has implemented The Learning Center to further assist offenders as they transition back into society. To obtain these goals, an emphasis must be placed on: continuing education, obtaining vocational skills, and a commitment to changing disruptive behavior. Through the introduction of The Learning Center, all three categories are fulfilled.
The Learning Center provides opportunities to offenders that exhibit a desire to change and succeed upon their release through a variety of educational and vocational based programs. Some of these courses include: HiSet Preparation Courses (High School Equivalency Test), Automotive, Construction, CDL, and Barber Courses. Offenders that may not meet the qualifications or criteria to transfer to a lower level institution that provide Vocational Programs can now enhance their knowledge and skills pertaining to their area of interest and improve their employability skills as they near release.
To address the commitment to changing disruptive behavior, The Learning Center is also used to provide therapeutic courses to offenders exhibiting disruptive behavior. For example, if an offender received a conduct violation and was found guilty during the hearing, the Disciplinary Hearing Officer could provide a sanction of completing a therapeutic course in The Learning Center. The offender would have 30 days to successfully complete the course and must utilize his own recreation time. By assigning the offender to a therapeutic course, the offender is not only held accountable for his actions, but also addresses where the disruptive behavior stemmed from and how to prevent future disruptive behavior. Once the behavior is addressed, the emphasis can be shifted back to an educational and vocational focus.
The Learning Center currently has 4 workstations and a stand-alone workstation for tracking the participants maintained by an offender facilitator. There is room to add additional workstations and facilitators as The Learning Center grows.
The objective of the ITC (Intensive Therapeutic Community Program) is to help men change their lives in order to develop responsible life styles and habits, and to create no more victims through a spiritual based program. This objective is accomplished by completing a 1 year intensive program that is broken up into six phases.
Each phase of the program will cover a variety of topics which includes substance abuse, anger management, criminality, relapse prevention, and the tradition 12 steps program. The offenders will participate in an offender driven confrontation system, this is the tool that is used for behavior modification, which raises the client’s awareness of things they are doing wrong. This system also raises the client’s vigilance of things going on around them.
The structure of the program has a military group structure such as drill and ceremony, rank and file, chain of command, and community style clean up.
The ITC program will start with six offender facilitators and two offender elders. The remaining 63 will be program participants that will advance through the six phases of the program.
ERDCC 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, ERDCC serves as a good neighbor to the Bonne Terre community and surrounding areas.