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Boonville Correctional Center

History (1887-1983)

On March 30, 1887 the Missouri Legislature approved an act providing for the location and construction of a State Reform School for Boys. A commission consisting of Governor John S. Marmaduke, Attorney General B. G. Boone and State Registrar of Lands, Robert McCulloch, selected Boonville, Missouri as the site for the school due to its rural location hoping to promote rural values and work ethics.

A tract of 168 acres was purchased and a contract for the completion of a brick building was approved by the commission. The first building at the school was completed in 1888 and all functions of the school were administered from this building.

The school was formally dedicated on January 15, 1889 and at the close of the year the total enrollment was 70 boys. The statute creating the Missouri Training School for Boys stated the school was not simply to be a place of correction, but a school where “young offenders of the law between the ages of ten and sixteen could receive physical, intellectual and moral training and learn some substantial trade for their future support”. The first program provided for the parole of a boy at the end of eighteen months. The boys attended school for one-half day for six months of the year. The curriculum included reading, writing, arithmetic and history. By the end of 1891, 138 boys were admitted to the school.

The oldest building on the institution is reported to be the supply commissary built in 1888. As additional boys were committed more housing was required and in 1894 the present Stone Cottage, current Administration Building, was completed followed by Stephens Cottage, current visiting room, in 1896 named after Governor Lon V. Stephens, our Missouri governor at the time the institution opened in 1889. Boonville Correctional Center Historical BuildingAn additional 169 acres of land was purchased in 1898 and from the profits of the brickyard an additional 8 acres was acquired bringing the total to 345 acres.

In 1902, the superintendent’s residence and the present Dockery Cottage (HU#10) were completed. Dockery Cottage was named after Governor Alexander M. Dockery who signed legislation creating juvenile courts for the first time in Missouri’s history on March 23, 1903. During this time the school’s population continued to grow. Dockery Cottage - Boonville Correctional CenterThe original school building and the Carpenter Shop were completed in 1905. More land was needed and the state purchased a tract of 142 acres, bringing the total number of acres to 487.

In 1906, the Lawn Force Barn was built to be used as a latrine. Between 1906 and 1909, the name of the Training School was changed to “Missouri Reformatory” with the purpose of expanding the institution to include an Intermediate Reformatory for older offenders. In 1915 the kitchen and laundry were completed and in 1920 because of the increased enrollment, an additional 117 acres was purchased, bringing the total acres to 604 acres. In 1931, a commissary building and a dairy house were completed and the mule barn was rebuilt.

In 1933, another reformatory school for boys, known as Algoa Farms, was opened and the name of the Missouri Reformatory again became the Missouri Training School for Boys. At this time the maximum enrollment was 646. Since the admission age to Algoa was between seventeen and twenty-five, the interpretation of the statutes for admission to the training school in Boonville was below seventeen years of age.

Around 1937, the gymnasium and present Francis Cottage (named after Governor David Francis the creator of the State Board of Charities and Corrections) and “G” cottages were completed. The administration building (now General Service Building) was remodeled and the entire west wing of the second floor was converted to the hospital unit. Other improvements included an overhaul of the power plant.

The school which had been operating as a penal institution for juveniles came under the direction of the State Board of Training Schools on March 17, 1948. From 1938 to 1949 there was little or no new construction or remodeling work done. World War II virtually stopped all work for the duration of the war. In 1949 the power plant was renovated and in 1950 Barton, Daniel Boone, George Washington Carver, Mark Twain, and George Caleb Bingham cottages were completed. A presidential commission encouraged states to create “cottage life” for institutionalized children during this period so life at the institution simulated a family.

In 1951, the staff cottage, current HU#28, was built followed by the John J. Pershing School, new dairy barn in 1952, cattle barn in 1955, bakery addition and swimming pool in 1958, and the Bill Corum Cottage and the Protestant and Catholic Chapels in 1959. The laundry (originally built 1920), modern poultry house and extensive remodeling of the now General Services Building were completed in 1968. A new multi-purpose building was completed in March 1970 which now houses HU#15 offenders.

Boys housed in 1970 spent 6 months a year in school for half-day sessions. Each cottage went to the gym during two evenings during the week and twice during the weekend. Recreation included bowling, roller skating, swimming, billiards, volleyball, flip board, weights, basketball, wrestling and of course summer baseball held in our now staff parking lot.

In 1970, vocational training included five accredited areas: auto mechanics, woodworking, metal, print shop, and radio/electronics. Title 1 programs funded in 1968 included typing, driver’s education, GED, music appreciation and photography. In the 1970’s reform for youth took a definite turn and the larger “penal” juvenile facilities became a way of the past. Juveniles were placed in smaller group homes to simulate family and if possible be closer to their families and the last largest juvenile facility in the state, Boonville Training School for Boys, was closed.

The Department of Corrections took possession in July 1983.

Boonville Correctional Center

Boonville Correctional Center Security Fence In 1983 the DOC constructed a 14-foot chain link fence topped with razor wire encompassing the main grounds of the 59 acre facility. The beginning count at BCC was reported to be 115 offenders. January 1984’s population was 273 and by the end of that first full year BCC had 437 offenders. By 1991 we had 1001 offenders and BCC reached its highest number ever during June 1998 with 1696 offenders due to the placement of 5 all-weather tents to alive over-crowding throughout the DOC. Once new facilities in the state were operational our population returned to 1316 by the end of 2000. Our maximum offender capacity is currently 1382 and in 2016 BCC’s average daily population was 1325

While BCC is a state penitentiary the old buildings, many trees and spacious areas often remind us it was once the Missouri Reform School for Boys.

If you are looking for a cohesive working environment with the opportunity to advance in your career for an agency with a history of tenured staff and an experienced administration consider Boonville Correctional Center. Opportunities for advancement are often present in the large pool of employees for almost all sections.

Facility Overview

Boonville Correctional Center is dedicated to provide the utmost safety and security for our offenders, staff and the public. Our staff are also committed to the Missouri Reentry Process preparing our offenders for their ultimate release into the community.

BCC is a minimum, Custody Level 1, state prison located in Cooper County, Boonville, MO with a maximum capacity of 1382 male offenders. Currently our population ranges in age from 18-80 with an average age of 36.

BCC has 31 buildings inside the secure perimeter fence 14 feet high and 6,700 in linear feet with a double row of razor wire atop the chain link fence. BCC is divided into 4 quadrants to include, maintenance, administration, recreation and lower hill housing. Boonville Treatment Center HU#28 is north of the BCC facility and houses 60 offenders sentenced to short term treatment.

Offender Management

Offender Management is overseen by the Deputy Warden of Offender Management and includes all classification and custody sections and serves as the liaison for DORS Education and CORIZON medical services. This position also provides administrative supervision over the BCC IMPACT Puppies for Parole Program and serves as the administrative commander for the BCC Corrections Emergency Response Team. The Assistant Warden directly oversees the Functional Unit Managers and the Chief of Custody directly supervises Corrections Supervisors II (Captains).


Offender management is much more than corrections case managers and their supervisors, functional unit managers, however they are the basis of the Department’s policy that ensures offenders are provided the opportunity to participate in programs appropriate to their need and that offenders are assessed in terms of risk and management needs. Classification staff are tasked to provide an ongoing evaluation of each offender’s needs upon assignment and throughout their confinement period. There is a minimum of at least one corrections classification manager assigned to each housing unit and one functional unit manager assigned to each unit. Additional classification staff are placed in the transitional housing unit and the reception and reception housing unit to ensure offenders receive critical services upon intake and prior to release. Case managers work with each offender to create and implement a Transitional Accountability Plan to prepare them for release.

The Adult Internal Classification System began in July 1987 to choose appropriate housing, bed and job assignments and has been revised through the years and now includes PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) guidelines. The system classifies offenders as Alpha, Kappa, or Sigma in an effort to reduce the likelihood of offenders more susceptible to victimization being in an unsupervised environment with offenders more prone to abusiveness. All bed and work assignments are made according to this system.


BCC Offender housing is comprised of five functional units as follows:

Unit I

  • HU#8-98 (30 Permanent Beds) (Segregation)
  • HU#10-78 (Work Release-Outside Clearance)

Unit II

  • HU#1-102
  • HU#2-102
  • HU#3-102

Unit III

  • HU#4-102
  • HU#5-200

Unit IV

  • HU#6-202 (Reception & Orientation-GP)
  • HU#7-102 (Shock Incarceration Program/120 Day)
  • HU#9-102

Unit V

  • HU#15-200 (Re-entry Unit)

Boonville Treatment Center

  • HU#28-60 (Boonville Treatment Center)

CERT – Corrections Emergency Response Team

BCC is allotted 25 CERT members who receive specialty training whose primary mission is to address and successfully resolve developing and/or ongoing emergency situations that arise beyond the scope of normal activities occurring during times of heightened risk or facility-wide disturbances. Active members are required to pass a physical agility test, have at least 12 months of service, and be able to respond to the institution within one hour of being activated. Other requirements are also necessary for consideration such as maintaining a successful rating period however all staff may apply to be a CERT team member. Members receive an additional stipend for active participation in CERT.


Custody staff provide the supervision of offenders and provide the basis for safety and security for the institution.

The group is comprised of:

Correctional Officer I’s, provide general, first-line supervision of offenders and man security posts at strategic locations throughout the 59 acre facility.

Correction Officers II (Sergeant) provide front-line supervision and assistance to Correction Officers I and man some of the more critical security posts.

Correction Officers III (Lieutenant) and Correction Supervisors I (Captains) serve as shift supervisors and work four ten-hour shifts. Lieutenants are also assigned duties to provide supervision over essential service areas such as food service and education and ensure inspections and searches are completed.

Correction Supervisors II (Major) is the Chief of Security and Custody of the offenders assigned to BCC and is responsible for the custody staff assigned to the institution and the staffing of all assigned posts.

Missouri Reentry Process (MRP)

BCC provides offenders with cognitive classes in order to better prepare them for reentry into society. As a minimum security prison this is an essential part of our daily operations to provide these classes to our offenders. Most of our offenders with less than six months before release are assigned to HU#15 in order to receive the necessary classes and information to prepare them for release.

Anger Management

Didactic Group Format utilizing written manual and discussion. This group is intended to increase the member’s awareness of functional impairment caused by coping skills inadequate to effectively manage anger in a positive and constructive manner. In this group experience, the individual will be expected to discuss with peers potential causal factors of anger, process alternatives, and develop interventions to utilize when experiencing uncontrollable anger. This is a 9-hour class, offered approximately every three months.

Employability Skills

A group focusing on the development of essential work skills. The group will learn basic job hunting, interviewing and job retention skills. It also teaches typing skills and appropriate dress for interviewing.

Impact of Crime on Victims Class (ICVC)

This is a 20-hour class that is offered on a continuous basis. The objectives of this class are for the participants to a) accept responsibility for past criminal actions, 2) understand the impact of crime on victims, 3) develop personal safety skills with a focus on crime prevention, and 4) learn how to bond with healthy people and to realize that by becoming a productive member of their community it will prevent future victimization.

Inside Out Dads

This class teaches good parenting skills to prepare the offender to reintegrate into their child’s life.

Pathways to Change

This class gives the offender the ability to recognize thinking errors and gives him the tools to overcome future obstacles.

Resource Fairs

Resource fairs are held to provide offenders with useful information to help them be successful upon release. Various individuals from agencies and organizations in Missouri attend and give the offenders suggestions and guidance on things such as employment, housing, health care and transportation.


This is a voluntary program open to all offenders in general population that is used to strengthen and maintain the bond between the incarcerated parent and their child/children. The parent reads a book that is burned to a CD, which is then screened and sent to the child/children. This program is conducted by members of the Liberty Bell Ministries but is not considered a religious program. The program is offered free to all offenders 90 days violation free.


BCC Education Staff A basic education is an integral part of the rehabilitative process.In order to prepare offenders for successful reintegration into society and to reduce recidivism, offenders without a high school diploma or equivalent (High School Equivalency Certificate [HSE]) are required by statute to participate in education classes. All classes are taught by experienced and certified teachers. We currently serve approximately 495 students per day with a professional staff of twelve.


The Education section at Boonville Correctional Center offers the following programs to offenders:

Adult Education: Classes that assist the offender in working toward the HSE certificate.

  • AEL – Adult Education and Literacy
  • HSE – Adult Basic Education
  • Special Education – Provides appropriate education for offenders with disabilities through the age of 21.

Career and Technical: School based program providing technical skills and nationally recognized certification

  • Electrical Wiring Technology

Library Services: Services to support the educational, recreational, legal and informational needs of the offenders.

  • Legal Services: Offenders are provided the required services as mandated by law
  • Leisure Services: Our library is modeled after public library collections and offers a wide variety of reading material

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.


The BCC operations section is supervised by the deputy warden of operations and is comprised of the, business office, canteen, chapel, clothing supply, food service, laundry, mailroom, maintenance, personnel department, recreation, safety manager, and supply commissaries. The operations section also supervises the Institutional Activities Coordinator responsible for many Restorative Justice Activities. The operations section is responsible for the hiring of the majority of offender workers. Offenders are assigned as needed and apply for positions available throughout the facility.

Business Office

The business office is composed of a business manager, one senior office support assistant and one accounting clerk. They are responsible for the processing all requisitions for the canteen, general revenue, as well as food service, fuel and utilities, offender organizations and offender payroll budgets. The Business Office collects various data and reports from all areas of the institution regarding expenditures and state property.

There are four sections that are under the business office. They are the, Supply Warehouse, Food Commissary Warehouse, Clothing Issue and the Canteen.

The supply warehouse has a Storekeeper II and an Office support Assistant. The Food Service Commissary Warehouse has one Storekeeper II. The Clothing Issue has one Storekeeper II and the Canteen has one Storekeeper II and one Storekeeper I. Issue areas are responsible for stocking, tracking, rotating, and distributing their assigned inventory and provide comprehensive reports of these actions to the business manager and administration. The canteen is set up for an individual offender to purchase, hygiene, food, clothing, and a limited amount of entertainment items. These items are approved by a committee and are limited in the amounts purchased.


The Hope Chapel hosts a wide variance of recognized religious groups to include: Al-Islam (Muslim), Christian Catholic, Christian General (Protestant), Moorish Science Temple of America, and Native American. Within the Christian General group we also have several denominational or sectarian groups, including Baptist, Methodist, Prison Fellowship, interdenominational, Pentecostal, Jehovah’s Witness, and Seventh Day Adventist to increase diversity. We have also accommodated other groups when requested to include: Buddhism, Judaism, Messianic, Nation of Islam, and Wicca, to name a few. Topical study groups and faith based programs are offered as well on a regular basis for all offenders in general population, regardless of religious affiliation, such as Celebrate Recovery (12 step faith based addiction recovery), Financial Peace University (money management), and Inside Out Dads Christian (faith based version of regular IOD’s program also offered outside the Chapel). The institutional chaplain works with various volunteers to provide the diverse population with religious and spiritual programming of their designation within the Department’s list of accommodated groups. Chapel is also available for general use through the week for use of the Chapel Library, Movie Room, and for prayer/meditation and study. Lastly, the Chapel is a refuge for those who have received bad news while incarcerated, and the Chaplain provides crisis ministry and spiritual care/counseling whenever needed.

Fire Safety Specialist

Fire and Safety is responsible for inspecting buildings and grounds for fire, safety hazards and sanitary issues, identifying and reporting hazards and recommending any corrective action. The position is also responsible for working with administrators and public fire departments in creating, suggesting changes to and reviewing procedures for the safety of staff and offenders during fires and disasters. Fire and safety coordinates fire and disaster drills as well as safety activities; serves on facility safety committees; and identifies safety hazards. Fire and safety investigates accident and injury reports and makes recommendations to prevent future incidents. Prepares and maintains records of recommendations and activities relating to the prevention and elimination of fire and safety hazards.

Fire and safety is responsible for the staff urinalysis and staff breathalyzer programs at the institution. They train other staff on fire and safety, staff urinalysis collection and breathalyzer use on offenders and staff. Fire and safety work closely with the administration, supervisors and fellow staff to improve the safety, cleanliness and security of the institution.

Food Service

Food Service Staff - Boonville Correctional Center BCC Food Service Department typically provides over 1 million meals to our offenders a year. This is an astonishing average of 2,739 meals per day and an average of 82,191 meals per month. BCC currently employs one Food Service Manager II, 8 Cook III’s and 3 Cook II’s to supervise the preparation and serving of all meals.


It is estimated the laundry processes approximately 6,980 bags per month or 83,760 bags annually. The laundry has approximately four offender workers and one staff member which work M-F to complete this task.


BCC Mailroom The BCC mailroom is responsible for all mail received and sent out to the public for the offender population including e-mails forwarded to the institution for distribution. They also forward all business mail in and out of the institution. In June 2015 the Department began a program where offenders may receive an e-mail from their family or friends. The item is reviewed and printed and then forwarded to the appropriate offender. From June 2015 through December 2016 over 62,000 e-mails had been forwarded. The mailroom is supervised by a Senior Office Support Assistant and has one Office Support Assistant assigned.


Maintenance Staff - Boonville Correctional CenterThe physical plant supervisor over maintenance reports the maintenance department employs the following positions in maintenance: Maintenance Worker II, Labor Supervisor I, Maintenance Supervisor I, Garage Supervisor, Electronic Technician, and Stationary Engineers. The BCC maintenance department handles approximately 6,500 work requests per year which includes preventative maintenance assignments.


The Personnel Office at the Boonville Correctional Center is staffed with a Personnel Clerk; SOSA-Timekeeper; and an Office Support Assistant. The Personnel Office processes payroll and timekeeping for approximately 330 full time state employees. This office also process new employees beginning employment with the Boonville Correctional Center, explaining state benefits, as well as assisting applicants with the application process, posting all vacant positions for both employees and applicants seeking employment with the Department of Corrections.


Buerky and Bass RecreationThe Recreation department at the Boonville Correctional Center is staffed by 4 Recreation Officer I’s, 1 Recreation Officer II, and 1 Recreation Officer III. The Recreation department offers a comprehensive program that is diverse enough to meet the needs of many different offenders. Our structured program offers weekly tournaments, leagues, and special events. Some of the activities we offer are Bingo, basketball, Pinochle, art contests, talent shows, softball, chess, checkers, trivia and many more. We also run a structured fitness program that is 10 weeks long that mixes several different types of workouts. This program is voluntary, but to stay in the class the offenders must show up on time everyday and put in their best effort. The recreation department also maintains the movie program and the offender informational channel.

In addition to all the activities and classes we offer in recreation we also employ 23 offenders. We not only have high standards to be eligible to work in recreation, but conduct interviews for every job opening. All of our basketball referees and softball umpires go through classes to ensure they know the rules and are ready for games.

Restorative Justice

The IAC helps coordinate all of the components for the Restorative Justice Program except for the Puppies for Parole which is coordinated by classification staff.


The four primary ideas that support the philosophy of Restorative Justice are:

  • Restorative Justice views crime as a violation of people and personal relationships.
  • Restorative Justice holds offenders directly accountable.
  • Restorative Justice creates community partnerships.
  • Restorative Justice offers a balanced approach to justice.

Restorative Justice Activities are voluntary for any general population offender and activities are available year round. BCC received recognition in 2015 and 2016 for distributing more produce than any other RJ Garden in the state. In 2016 the BCC RJ Garden produced almost 70,000 pounds of produce which was distributed to local food banks, senior housing and other public entities in need. The large variety and quantity of vegetables grown and distributed shows offenders a few can make a difference in other people’s lives and offers offenders the opportunity to give back to the community. The BCC RJ wood working crew has provided various items for auction to non-profit organizations and individuals in the community in immediate need. BCC RJ has provided local families with Christmas presents including beds, chairs, etc. with the specific child in mind. RJ at BCC also participates in recycling projects, Puppies for Parole, making coloring books for children and anything the community comes up with that they can assist.


Puppies for Parole – BCC IMPACT

The Puppies for Parole Program and IMPACT (Inspire and Motivate Prisoners and Canines Together) began at Boonville Correctional Center with our first 3 dogs graduating on March 19, 2013. It normally 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. Since conception BCC has graduated 256 out of 287 dogs received from the shelter.

We have placed dogs in individual homes, nursing homes, and BCC is proud to have formed a partnership with Missouri University and Veterans United to provide advanced training to dogs stipulated for service dogs free of charge to veterans. The offenders and the dogs find success in this program and share the theme of a “second chance” in life.

Rescuing dogs from a lifetime of pain...Releasing people to a lifetime of change.

I was homeless and you took me in.
You gave me shelter, I gave you companionship.
You gave me kindness, I gave you trust.
You gave me boundaries, I gave you SUCCESS.
Don’t be sad when I leave because you gave me a home where there was none.

Probation and Parole

BCC Probation and Parole Staff The BCC Probation and Parole have 11 staff members and institutional parole officers are located in each unit of the institution to provide one-on-one contact with the offenders. Staff complete pre-hearing reports, special reports, community placement assessments, court reports, home plan investigations, release sign outs, and interstate compact home plan investigations for the institution. In 2017 video parole hearings were added to BCC and have been an effective cost-saving method to conduct the many hearings required for our C-1 offenders.

Boonville Treatment Center

BTC - Treatment StaffThe Boonville Treatment Center is a Short Term Institutional Treatment Center that offers Substance Abuse services to both court ordered and board offenders. This is a medium level facility that incorporates individual counseling, group therapy and educational lectures, secular and non-secular support groups and reentry services to offenders to begin the recovery process. During the 12 week cycle offenders are engaged in services 25-30 hours per week in addition to High School Equivalency classes for those who need that service.

The goal of the treatment center is to provide offenders with the opportunity to evaluate the criminogenic factors in their life and begin making the changes necessary to engage in a way of life that is alcohol and drug free. Through careful assessment and individualized treatment planning offenders can engage in the process of change and improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential. Recovery here at BTC is built on access to evidence-based clinical treatment and recovery support services for all populations as a means to improve one’s life.

Boonville Correctional Center 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, BCC serves as a good neighbor to the Boonville community and surrounding areas.