Welcome to Chillicothe, Missouri
Chillicothe Correctional Center... Here is a summary of events, news, and information regarding our new Chillicothe Reception and Diagnostic Center. Articles, captions, and photos are courtesy of the Chillicothe Constitution Tribune and Catherine Stortz-Ripley.

Correctional Center Celebrates Five Years in New Location
December 6, 2013

PATCH Settles Into New Prison
Wednesday, June 24, 2009, C-T

Chillicothe Correctional Center is 'Facility of the Month'
Published: Wednesday, April 15, 2009
by Lisa Kopochinski, C-T

New Prison Will Ease Crowding
Published: Wednesday, December 10, 2008
by Cheryl Wittenauer, AP Writer

Chillicothe Correctional Center Gets New Sign
11 13 12 CT

Motorists traveling U.S. Highway 65 through north Chillicothe may have noticed signs designating the Chillicothe Correctional Center at Kelsie Reeter Road. The correctional center has been operating at this location for nearly four years and, up until last week, Chillicothe was the only location with a state prison not having highway signage according to Mayor Chuck Haney.

Prison Makes Move
Published: Friday, December 5, 2008
by Catherine Stortz Ripley, C-T News Editor

CAPTION: All 481 offenders formerly housed at the old Chillicothe Correctional Center on Third Street were transferred overnight to the new prison (above) in north Chillicothe. The transfer began at 11:27 p.m. and ended at 5:15 a.m. Friday.

C-T Photo/Laura Schuler

In an overnight operation the state of Missouri quietly transferred its 481 offenders from Chillicothe Correctional Center on Third Street to the state’s new facility at the north end of Chillicothe. The first bus began transporting offenders from the old facility at 11:27 p.m. Thursday and the last offender arrived at the new facility at 5:15 a.m. today (Friday). Around 150 members of the emergency squad from other correctional centers assisted in the move. The majority of the offenders were taken via buses which ran two at a time continuously throughout the night. The offenders were served sack breakfasts this morning and were expected to eat a hot lunch in the dining hall.

Prison Warden Jennifer Miller said the transfer went smoothly. “Everything worked fine,” she said. “There was not a single incident to speak of. The staff was on target and knew what they were supposed to do. And, the offenders were ready for the move.” “This move has been successful and without incident due to the diligent planning and preparation of a number of staff at CCC as well as the unwavering cooperation of the Department of Corrections’ various emergency squads and local law enforcement officials,” Miller added. “I am very appreciative of the many efforts and contributions made by my staff and the support we have received from our Central Office.”

The first bus arrived at the Third Street location at 9:03 Thursday evening and the left with its first load of around 40 offenders at 11:27 p.m. Six buses from other correctional institutions (including two backup buses) were involved in the operation. “We had two runs going at a time, with two buses in each run,” Miller said. “Two were arriving as two were leaving.” The last few transports were from the segregation units and they were transported via 15-passenger vans rather than in buses.

The Emergency Squad was fed a hot breakfast this morning and the offenders were given a sack breakfast to eat in their housing units while staff completed census counts. Additionally, the sack breakfasts allowed for a more relaxed morning as they were up most of the night because of the move.

State Ready for Prison Move
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
By Catherine Stortz Ripley, C-T News Editor

The state of Missouri is ready to transfer its full occupancy of inmates from its Third Street location to the new facility in north Chillicothe. The exact date of the transfer is being kept confidential for security reasons, although Warden Jennifer Miller said that the transfer will take place early this month. The state will be bringing in institutional buses to provide transportation so that all offenders can be transferred at the same time. “We are getting very close,” Miller said.

Staffing the new facility is progressing and all available entry level correctional officer I positions are now filled. There is continuous internal movement, though, with a number of employees being promoted and thus creating vacancies in other positions. “We are constantly backfilling,” Miller said. Of the 534 employees to be on staff when the facility is fully operational, there are just 87 positions vacant now, she said. The department staffing is ready for the move, she added.

The new Chillicothe Correctional Center is built to house 1,636 offenders and it is anticipated to handle around 1,100 offenders almost immediately: 525 currently incarcerated in Chillicothe and between 500 and 600 currently held at the women’s correctional center in Vandalia. The Vandalia facility, the only other female correctional center in the state, is between 500 and 600 offenders over its design capacity.

Prison Put on Display
Monday, September 29, 2008
By Catherine Stortz Ripley, C-T

CAPTION: The public was given the rare opportunity to tour the new Chillicothe Correctional Center which the state built for $120 million. Groundbreaking was held in October 2006. The state may begin moving offenders from the prison on Third Street to the new facility in October. More than 2,200 people took the tour on Thursday.

C-T Photo/Catherine Stortz Ripley

The doors of the new Chillicothe Correctional Center opened for public tours on Saturday with a steady stream of visitors funneling in and out throughout the day. In all, there were 2,210 people who visited the facility, built by the state for a cost of $120 million. Once clearing through security — no cell phones, cameras, bags, etc., were allowed — visitors walked through the doors which opened into a massive complex covering 55 acres and including facilities equipped to house and care for more than 1,600 persons. “A lot of people were amazed at the size of the facility,” said Chillicothe Correctional Center Warden Jennifer Miller. “You don’t get full appreciation of how big it is from street. The design is compact, yet it occupies a lot of space.”

The facility’s design is campus style with four 256-bed regular housing units (with 4-person rooms), a 240-bed step down unit (with two person rooms) a 76-bed administrative segregation unit, a 96-bed mental health unit, and a 200-bed reception and diagnostic unit. In all, there are six single-story and eight two-story structures on site with the largest being the massive 126,000 square-foot central services building. Inside this building are classrooms, religious areas, culinary arts, kitchen facilities, dining halls and laundry services. While visitors did not have access to the entire correctional center, they were able to see many areas. Among stops were the administration building, the receiving and diagnostic unit, the medical services area, the administrative segregation unit (where offenders are isolated for various reasons), central services building, and the training building. Visitors were also able to tour housing units 7 and 8.

The warden noted that many of the favorable comments made were in regards to the food service area. The new facility has its own bakery, two convection ovens (large enough to walk into), a 140-quart mixer, four 80-gallon kettles, a 60-gallon kettle, an industrial potato peeler capable of peeling a 50-pound bag of potatoes in minutes, a refrigerator measuring 27 feet by 50 feet, a freezer (42 feet by 56 feet), a thaw box (18 feet by 29 feet), a day freezer (12 feet by 18 feet) and a day refrigerator (11 feet by 18 feet).

Miller said she was pleased with the day’s events and appreciated having the facility open for public tours especially since the Chillicothe community had actively supported the correctional center’s expansion. The public, too, appreciated the opportunity. "A lot of them thought it was really nice and were pleased that they had the opportunity to take the tour," Miller said. She added, however, that several people had mentioned that they wished more youth would have toured the facility to see what a prison looks like and learn what restrictions exist for the offenders housed there. Among Saturday's visitors were family members and friends of offenders currently housed in the older Chillicothe facility. Miller noted that Saturday was visitation day at that facility which boosted the count of people touring the new facility. "There were a number of inmate families taking the tour," Miller said. "They did that before they came out to visit with their loved ones here (the older facility)." Saturday's open house gave members of the public a rare opportunity to tour the prison as access will never be this easy again because of security reasons.

Much work went into the tour by having corrections employees stationed throughout the facility to explain to visitors the various features in each area. Most of the section managers were present, including those from areas of food service, maintenance, probation and parole, personnel and business offices, housing units, recreation, academic education, vocational education, laundry and custody. In addition, the administrative team was present along with around 15 support staff members to assist in various areas throughout the tour. Also present for the tour was an architect from DLR Group, which served as the architect/designer of the facility. As visitors left the tour, they passed through the visiting room where staff members from the Department of Corrections recruitment office were available to talk about employment opportunities.

Miller said that the state may start transferring offenders from the older facility to the new one as early as October; however, the facility is still waiting on more furniture, telephones and computers to make preparations complete. After offenders are moved from the older Chillicothe facility, the state will transfer some inmates from Vandalia where Missouri's only other female prison is located. That facility, Miller said, is housing around 600 offenders more than its designed capacity. Construction of the new facility is anticipated to create an additional 357 jobs at the correctional center. To date, approximately 160 of those new positions have been filled. Prior to the prison expansion project, there were 207 employees at Chillicothe Correctional Center (excluding contract services personnel for mental health or medical staff).

Open House Planned at New Women’s Prison
Wednesday, September 24, 2008, C-T

CAPTION: The public is invited to tour Missouri’s newest women’s correctional center between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. this Saturday, Sept. 27. Chillicothe Correctional Center, built at a cost of $120 million, replaces the existing center on Third Street which dates back to the 1800s. Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt invites members of the public to take advantage of this rare opportunity as it will seldom be this easy to get in and it will never be this easy to get out. Although the open house offers an “open tour” situation, visitors should plan on spending two hours to take the full tour.

Photo by JE Dunn

A public open house for the new Chillicothe Correctional Center will be this Saturday, Sept. 27, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. This is the only opportunity for the general public to tour the new facility. Ground was broken for the $120 million facility less than two years ago. Just last month a ribbon-cutting ceremony marked its substantial completion.

The facility, built by the design-build team of JE Dunn Construction, DLR Group and KAI for the state of Missouri, is built campus-style and employs state-of-the-art equipment. “The new Chillicothe Correctional Center is another step forward in our ongoing efforts to enhance public safety and protect Missouri families from crime,” Gov. Matt Blunt said. “The new facility is also more environmentally-friendly and will save taxpayers money through energy efficiency. It will seldom be this easy to get in and it will never be this easy to get out so I invite you to take a look at the newest prison.”

The design of the new prison incorporates several energy saving technologies such as an improved boiler system, better HVAC controls, and more efficient lighting. The prison will operate at lower energy cost than any other prison in the state. Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC) Director Larry Crawford said the new prison will also improve safety and security for the public, staff and offenders. The prison will include important safety features like a perimeter road and 21st century design with adequate sight-lines for corrections officers to maintain a safe environment within the prison walls. Missouri’s female prison population has increased by 150 percent during the past 10 years, Crawford noted. The state had 1,071 female prisoners in Fiscal Year 1996, but that number increased to 2,522 in FY 2006. The new CCC’s capacity is 1,636, more than triple the old institution’s operating capacity of 525.

During Saturday’s open house, the Department of Corrections will have personnel posted at various locations throughout the institution providing information. Signs will also be posted throughout the tour path to help guide visitors. Deputy Warden Karen Diegelman said that although there will be no structured guided tours, visitors should allow two hours to take the tour. While visitors will not have access to the entire facility, they will be able to see many areas. Among stops will be the administrative building, the receiving and diagnostic unit, the medical services area, the administrative segregation unit (where offenders are isolated for various reasons), central services building (which provides areas for recreation, a chapel, education, vocational education, food service, laundry, warehouse and canteen); and the training building. Visitors will also be able to tour housing units 7 and 8.

DOC will also have a recruitment table set up in a visiting room at the administrative building for those interested in pursuing employment with the Department of Corrections. The state already has had several job fairs for positions within DOC with the most recent one having been this past Saturday. Saturday's open house will be the first and only one to be held for the public. The facility hosted an open house last Saturday for employees and their families. Around 800 toured the facility. The state says visitors should be advised of some restrictions when visiting the institution for the open house. The restrictions are as follows: no weapons, no cameras, no food, no drink, and no tobacco use allowed within the institution buildings. The facility is ADA compliant; however, no mobile transportation will be provided for individuals with disabilities. Individuals are allowed to bring their own personal mobility devices to maneuver around the institution, if needed. No offenders will be on site during the open house.

The institution is located at the north end of Chillicothe off of Highway 65. Turn right onto Kelsie Reeter Road; the institution is on the right at 3151 Litton Road. Free parking is available at the institution.

Ceremony Marks Completion of New Prison Road (Kelsie Reeter Road)
By Amanda McKay, Constitution-Tribune, Thu Sep 18, 2008

A ceremonial ribbon cutting was held Tuesday afternoon signifying the completion of the Kelsie Reeter Road project, a joint undertaking between MoDOT and the City of Chillicothe. Kelsie Reeter’s wife Marg (sitting) held the scissors, along with their three sons, Jerry, Jim and Mike, as the ribbon was cut. Kelsie Reeter Road (formerly County Road 228) is now the main entryway into the new Chillicothe Correctional Center.


Photo: Amanda McKay, Constitution-Tribune

A cost-share agreement between MoDOT and the City of Chillicothe signalized the intersection of U.S. Highway 65 and what was formerly County Road 228 and paved the roadway to improve traffic flow and safety at the intersection. As part of the improvements the city dedicated County Road 228 to the memory of Kelsie Reeter, by renaming the county road after this long-time Chillicothe citizen.

Tuesday, at the ceremonial ribbon cutting, Kelsie Reeter’s wife Marge, joined by their three sons, Jerry, Jim and Mike, held the scissors and cut the blue ribbon signifying the completion of the project. A tearful Jerry Reeter, Kelsie Reeter’s eldest son, spoke admirably about his father and about how pleased and honored his father would be. He also stated that so many have addressed him saying that they had so much respect for Kelsie Reeter because he made them walk “the straight and narrow” and that had made all the difference in the world.

Dan Niec, MoDOT District Engineer spoke at the ceremony about the importance of having a grand entry into the $120 million, brand new state-of-the-art Chillicothe Correctional Center. Niec also thanked the City of Chillicothe, saying he was “very appreciative of the working relationship we (MoDOT) have with the city and the county.”

Eva Danner, Presiding Commissioner of Livingston County also thanked those involved. She told the Reeter family that she understood how wonderful it is to have something so important named after family, refering to Daryl Danner Memorial Park in Chillicothe which was named in honor of her late husband.

CAPTION: Workers put up a traffic light signal on Tuesday, August 12, 2008, at the intersection of Kelsie Reeter Road (the entrance to the new Chillicothe Correctional Center) and U.S. Highway 65, north of Chillicothe. Work on the road started in late June and during construction, the entrance to the Correctional Center has been closed.

C-T Photo / Laura Schuler

Prison Finished Ahead of Schedule
Thursday, August 7, 2008, C-T

CAPTION: A crowd of a state and local officials as well as some special guests listen to Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt deliver the keynote address for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new $120 million Chillicothe Correctional Center on Wednesday. The program was held in the gymnasium of the 126,000 square-foot central services building.

August 7, 2008 - In January 2004, Missouri Gov. Bob Holden announced plans to close Chillicothe Correctional Center, an institution dating back to the 1800s and employing more than 200 people. Just Wednesday, less than five years after that announcement, Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt was in Chillicothe to cut the ceremonial ribbon signifying completion of a $120 million brand new state-of-the-art Chillicothe Correctional Center. This facility will not only retain those 200-plus once-threatened jobs, but will bring an additional 300 new jobs to the community. “Never did I imagine in 2005 that I’d be standing here in this facility,” said DOC director Larry Crawford, who moderated Wednesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony held in the gymnasium of the central services building at the correctional center. “Not only will this meet our needs, but it will have the ability to handle future growth,” he said.

The path to the project’s completion was dotted with obstacles along the way and even led the state through unchartered territory with its design-build plan to reduce overall project cost and accelerate its completion. "This is a great example of what partnerships with the city, state, contractors... can accomplish,” Gov. Blunt said about the project, which was envisioned and secured under his leadership. As part of the partnership, the city of Chillicothe offered the state enough land on which to build a new correctional center and agreed to assume ownership of the old prison facility on Third Street.

In 2006, Blunt proposed issuing $120 million in revenue bonds for the new facility and this year secured more than $10 million to support ongoing operations. The new facility will replace the old 525-bed institution, which as been used as a youth facility or a prison for more than 100 years. The new prison will hold more than 1,600 offenders, increasing women’s bed capacity by 1,111 beds. “The new Chillicothe Correctional Center is another step forward in our ongoing efforts to enhance public safety and protect Missouri families from crime,” Blunt said. “The new facility is also more environmentally-friendly, will save taxpayers money through energy efficiency and improve safety for the public and corrections officers, as well as the prisoners.” The new facility will also alleviate overcrowding at the state’s only other women’s prison which is in Vandalia. Over the past 10 years, the state’s women’s prison population has grown at a much faster rate than the male population, increasing approximately 150 percent compared to a 50-percent increase in the male population. The Department of Corrections has kept the current facility fully occupied while utilizing as many as 600 saturation beds at the women’s prison in Vandalia.

Wednesday’s ceremony was conducted in the gymnasium of the enormous central services building, a 126,000 square-foot facility which also houses classrooms, religious areas, culinary arts, kitchen facilities, dining halls and laundry services. Several state and local officials were on hand for the ceremony and highlighted the program with comments about the sequence of events leading up to Wednesday’s ceremony. “What a wonderful day in the city of Chillicothe,” said Chillicothe Mayor Chuck Haney. “We will cherish this moment for a long, long time.” Crawford, who had just come on board as DOC’s director in 2005, said he was “astounded” by what has been accomplished in a short period of time. “This is a success story that should be told over and over,” he said. He noted the experienced contractor chosen for the job. “The quality shines through today,” he said.

Also on hand was Bill Dunn Jr., vice president of JE Dunn Construction Company which served as the general contractor and brought the project in ahead of schedule. Working through even the coldest of temperatures, construction continued through the use of elaborate ground heaters to warm the soil enough in order to pour concrete. Construction began in September 2006 and Dunn credited the company’s “excellent teammates who helped in our success.” Among those partners were designers DLR Group and KAI Design/Build, and consultants R&N System Design, HNTB civil engineering and Hockenbergs kitchen design. Also speaking Wednesday was Larry Schepker, commissioner from the state office of administration. He complimented JE Dunn in working through one of the worst construction seasons yet getting the project substantially complete by the end of July, which was one month ahead of its 24-month schedule. He congratulated the city on completion of the facility.
Rep. John Quinn (R-Chillicothe), who was serving as representative when former Gov. Bob Holden proposed closing the facility, told those gathered Wednesday that the day’s ribbon-cutting was the highlight of his public service and applauded the efforts of those who fought hard to keep the correctional center in Chillicothe. “This is a testament of what hard work and commitment can accomplish,” Quinn said. Sen. Brad Lager (R-Maryville) worked on efforts for new prison funding in the Senate and he, too, on Wednesday recognized the team effort in making the facility become a reality. “The community came together like never before. I am honored to be standing here today,” Lager said. “Clearly, there were a lot of people involved in this project.” The facility is expected to be turned over to the state soon and the state plans to begin transferring offenders to the new facility in October, Crawford said.

Chillicothe Correctional Center currently has more than 205 full-time department employees, with an annual payroll of $6.2 million. It already is one of the largest employers in Livingston County and with an expected increase of 300 more employees, the facility will be an even larger contributor to the local economy. Chillicothe Correctional Center is located on a 55-acre site. It is a 1,636-bed correctional facility campus consisting of six single-story and eight two-story structures. The entire campus encompasses 432,057 square feet. JE Dunn self-performed pre-cast erection, concrete, and masonry scopes of work. Amenities of the center include a beauty shop, religious center, library, bakery, cosmetology lab, gymnasium and greenhouse. There are 403 security cameras located throughout the campus and all public areas are capable of being monitored continuously. The governor said that the design of the new prison incorporates several energy saving technologies such as an improved boiler system, better HVAC controls, and more efficient lighting. The prison will operate at lower energy cost than any other prison in the state. The prison will also include safety features such as a perimeter road and 21st century design with adequate sight-lines for corrections officers to maintain a safe environment within the prison walls.

Others participating in Wednesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony included Jennifer Miller, warden of Chillicothe Correctional Center, who welcomed those in attendance. The Western Region Color Guard of the Missouri Department of Corrections presented the flags. Angela Poling, chief of mental health services for Chillicothe Correctional Center, sang the national anthem. The invocation was given by Douglas Worsham, supervisor of DOC’s religious/spiritual programming. Stan Saunders, pastor of Cornerstone Church in Chillicothe, gave the benediction. A public open house is being planned for later September although a date has not yet been set.

A New Road to New Prison
Monday, June 30, 2008, C-T

CAPTION: Road work began today (Monday) on the road leading to the new women’s correctional center in north Chillicothe. The construction will include restructuring the road for 300 feet with pavement. The road will also allow for turn lanes for the entrance and exits of vehicles and signals to enhance the safety of the road as well as U.S. Highway 65. The plans are to complete the project by Aug. 15 or earlier with weather permitting. The cost to complete the project for the roads, signals and signs is $326,528. The construction is being done by APAC Missouri Inc. The new road will be named Kelsie Reeter Road.

June 30, 2008 - Road work began today (Monday) on the road leading to the new women’s correctional center in north Chillicothe. The construction will include restructuring the road for 300 feet with pavement.

The road will also allow for turn lanes for the entrance and exits of vehicles and signals to enhance the safety of the road as well as U.S. Highway 65. The plans are to complete the project by Aug. 15 or earlier with weather permitting.

The cost to complete the project for the roads, signals and signs is $326,528. The construction is being done by APAC Missouri Inc. The new road will be named Kelsie Reeter Road.

City to Seek Assessment of Old Prison Site
Tuesday, October 30, 2007 

October 30, 2007 - In less than a year the city of Chillicothe will be granted ownership of the old prison property on Third Street and the city should act quickly in trying to assess exactly what it will be owning, according to the city's economic developer. As part of an arrangement with the state of Missouri to build a new correctional center in Chillicothe, the city agreed to take over the old prison property and its buildings once the state vacated it and moved to the new facility. Construction is moving quickly on the new center and it is expected to be occupied by September 2008.

Terry Rumery, who is contracted by the city to provide economic development services, said that the city needs to act soon to hire an engineer to determine the condition of the buildings. “We need to find out what we have and we're running out of time,” Rumery told Chillicothe City Council members during their regular semimonthly meeting Monday evening at City Hall. “This time next year, that prison is going to be ours.” Rumery said that the city needs a plan in place for when that transaction occurs. “These buildings, once they sit idle, they deteriorate very quickly,” he said.

Council members, earlier this year, decided to seek bids for a study of the correctional center property but no action was ever taken. Talks had involved generating cost estimates for completely rehabilitating four buildings: the two buildings that are used for education centers and two of the five housing buildings for use as dormitories. All of the other serviceable buildings would be weatherized for future use and any unusable buildings would be demolished. First Ward Councilman Lonnie Sewell on Monday expressed concerns about spending money for an overall assessment rather than first spending money on an environmental impact study which would look at the amount of asbestos and lead-based paint found in the buildings. After discussions, the council agreed that the city should request proposals from engineering firms to provide an assessment. 

In other business Monday night, the council members approved the bid submitted by Minnick Supply Company of Chillicothe to provide nine ornamental lights and poles for the east half of the walking trail at Simpson Park. The poles will be of similar design to the light fixtures in downtown Chillicothe; however, they will be topped with globes similar to the other lights in the park rather than with acorn tops. The poles are to be delivered within eight weeks. Minnick's bid was $12,591, which was $171 over the low bid submitted. The council chose Minnick Supply stating that the company was local and that the lights could be delivered earlier.

Blunt Talks of Prison Plans
Thursday, October 25, 2007

CAPTION: Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt tells about his plan to add $14 million into next year's state budget to fund full operations of the new Chillicothe Correctional Center, including the addition of 300 state employees to the local facility. Blunt made his announcement outside the administration building during a visit Wednesday to the present correctional facilities site. Standing behind the governor are Larry Crawford, state director of the Missouri Department of Corrections; and Jennifer Miller, superintendent of Chillicothe Correctional Center.

October 25, 2007 - On the one year anniversary of the Chillicothe Correctional Center groundbreaking, Gov. Matt Blunt on Wednesday returned to Chillicothe to announce that one of his budget priorities for the coming year will be to provide increased funding to support the prison operations, including approximately 300 new jobs for the area. “The funding I am recommending is a step forward in our ongoing efforts to enhance public safety and protect Missouri families from crime,” Gov. Blunt said. “The new facility will be more efficient and improve safety for the public and corrections officers, as well as the prisoners. It will also require about 300 additional staff for its operation, bringing new jobs to the area.” Gov. Blunt will recommend an approximately $14 million increase in next year's budget for the Department of Corrections in Chillicothe. The budget, however, will need legislative approval.

The new correctional center is designed to replace the aging, maintenance intensive facility in Chillicothe and will alleviate overcrowding at Vandalia, which currently is filled beyond capacity. The new Chillicothe Correctional Center will replace the old 525-bed institution on Third Street, which has been in existence as a youth facility or a prison for over 100 years. The new prison will hold more than 1,600 offenders, increasing women's bed capacity by 1,111 beds, in a safe environment for staff and inmates. Even with the approximately 300 new jobs at the correctional center, Gov. Blunt is keeping his commitment to keep the number of state employees below 60,000. Blunt reduced the size of state government and has said that the state will not exceed 60,000 state employees while he serves as governor. 

Over the past 10 years, women's prison population has grown at a much faster rate than the male population, increasing approximately 150 percent compared to a 50 percent increase in the male population. The Department of Corrections has kept the current facility fully occupied while utilizing as many as 600 saturation beds at the women's prison in Vandalia. There are 525 offenders currently housed at Chillicothe Correctional Center. Once the new prison is completed, the population will be transferred to the new facility as well as an estimated 600 offenders transferred from the women's prison at Vandalia, according to Larry Crawford, director of the Department of Corrections, who was present for Blunt's announcement Wednesday. The state currently employs 205 people at Chillicothe Correctional Center and has an annual payroll of $6.2 million, Crawford said. These figures, however, do not include those with whom the state contracts to provide services at the correctional center. Gov. Blunt said he is committed to improving efficiency in state government. Environmentally-friendly, energy efficiency programs his administration has implemented will save Missouri taxpayers more than $15 million a year.

Progress Continues at New Prison Site
Wednesday, September 19, 2007

C-T Photo/Laura Schuler
CAPTION: A water tower is taking shape on the site of the new women's prison in north Chillicothe. According to project manager Butch Bishop, the tower will stand 145-feet tall when it is completed. The project on the tower began on June 4 and is scheduled to be painted, online and completed by Oct.1. Bishop said that the tower is needed for the new Chillicothe Reception and Diagnostic Center to ensure supply for fire protection and domestic water.

September 19, 2007 - Two hundred and thirty construction workers are now working on the new Chillicothe Correctional Center (CCC). Crews are working two shifts, and weekend work is also being considered. "The site looks very busy," Chillicothe Correctional Center Superintendent Jennifer Miller told the Horizon, an online Missouri Department of Corrections publication. "They (the crews) are currently working two shifts to set the pre-cast walls. Construction is taking place from 7 a.m. until the early evening Monday through Friday."

Miller and Division of Adult Institutions (DAI) Deputy Division Director Patricia Cornell toured the site recently. Cornell notes the progress that has occurred since her last site visit, describing it as "awesome." Roofing work is underway on some buildings. Deeper inside the perimeter, bulldozers and cranes have been busy as workers build the Support Services Building. That building will contain the Missouri Vocational Enterprises (MVE) warehouse, the institutional laundry, a chapel, warehouse, recreation, food services and educational and vocational programming. 

Road Leading to New Prison Named Kelsie Reeter Drive
By MEGAN NEIS/C-T Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 26, 2007 

June 26, 2007 - The small stretch of road leading from U.S. Highway 65 to the new Chillicothe Diagnostic and Reception Center in north Chillicothe will be named Kelsie Reeter Drive. The decision was made last (Monday) night during the regular bi-monthly Chillicothe City Council meeting. Second Ward Councilman Lonnie Sewell made a motion to accept Kelsie Reeter Drive as the new road name. Donna Preszler, 3rd ward councilwoman, seconded the motion. Council members voted 3-2 with Sewell, Preszler and Councilman-At-Large Darrel Rinehart Jr., voting in favor. Earle Teegarden, 1st ward councilman and Pam Jarding, 4th ward councilman opposed. 

Kelsie Reeter was a long-time sheriff in Livingston County, serving in that capacity from 1957 to 1977. “He was a good sheriff and was well respected,” Haney said, adding that he was liked by both the Republican and Democrat party. 
Reeter served on the Missouri Sheriff's Association and was also a member of their board of directors. He was a veteran of World War II, serving in the Pacific Theatre of Operations. “Both personally and professionally, I cannot think of a better way to honor a former Livingston County Sheriff than to provide a well-respected and the highly admired name of a retired Livingston County Sheriff for the roadway into the new women's prison,” Sheriff Steve Cox said in a letter to Mayor Haney. “I am also certain there are other fine outstanding people who should be given this honor, but I respectfully request the city give every consideration to the connection in law enforcement with Sheriff Reeter for this roadway.”

City officials received many suggestions from the public for the name of the road. They are: Bob Staton Sr. Road, Bill Murry Drive, Lena Smithson Road, Community Drive, Security Road, Toad Road, Dogwood Lane, Bob Skinner Road, Dr. Joseph A. Conrad Lane, Freedom Road, Turnaround Lane, Hope Lane, Robert St. John Road, United Sprint Drive, Community Drive, Thelma Grandison, Donald Camper, Commitment Lane and Yardley Lane or Street. 

Road Leading to New Prison to be Named
By MEGAN NEIS/C-T Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 6, 2007 

June 6, 2007 - A small stretch of road leading from U.S. Highway 65 to the new Chillicothe Diagnostic and Reception Center in north Chillicothe will soon be named. According to Chillicothe Mayor Chuck Haney, the Missouri Department of Transportation has informed city officials that the road must receive a name. At the city council meeting held last week, Mayor Haney proposed naming the road “Bob Staton Sr. Lane.” 

“He (Staton) was a great cheerleader for the city of Chillicothe,” Haney explained. “When I was asked to propose a name, I thought for a couple of days and called Bob's two sons and they thought it was a good idea.” He added that several council members agreed with the proposed name. Bob Staton Sr. was a long-time businessman in Chillicothe, a local and regional political and public policy activist. He was also the youngest person ever elected mayor of Chillicothe. Haney explained that Staton served two terms as mayor, served on the fire and safety board was a longtime member of the airport board.

Prison Building Continues Through Winter
Friday, February 16, 2007 

CAPTION: Despite bitterly cold temperatures, work is progressing on the new Chillicothe Reception and Diagnostic Center in the north part of town. A 200-ton crawler crane was delivered this week which will be used in the erection of precast walls starting the last week of February. 

February 16, 2007 - Weather has slowed construction of what will become the state's newest prison yet progress is still on schedule. And, even in single-digit temperatures, crews are doing what they can to keep the project going. A 200-ton crawler crane was delivered to the site in north Chillicothe Wednesday for the erection of precast walls scheduled to start the last week of February. Already, the foundation has been poured for the administration and segregation building, one of 11 buildings to be constructed as part of $120 billion corrections complex.

Crews had planned to pour footings for another building today (Friday) but single-digit temperatures and frigid wind chill readings put a stop to those plans. Crews have had only one day since Jan. 11 that was suitable for placing concrete, according to JE Dunn Project Supervisor Butch Bishop.

As long as the temperature is not too cold, crews are able to make progress through the use of ground heaters which thaw frost out of the ground to make the ground suitable for pouring concrete. And, when it has been too cold for pouring concrete, other work is being done including excavation and laying pipes. Larry Crawford, director of the Department of Corrections, said that all early indications show the project will be completed on time.

Chillicothe Will Soon be Home to the Chillicothe Reception and Diagnostic Center
Friday, February 16, 2007 

February 16, 2007 - By hearing the words “reception and diagnostic center,” those in law enforcement know what completion of this facility means: they will no longer have travel to Vandalia to process female offenders into the corrections system. Those outside law enforcement, however, may think that the center has nothing at all to do with prisons. “Why not call a spade a spade instead of sugar coating the purpose of this facility,” asserts Myrna Carlton, who authored a letter to the editor of the Constitution-Tribune which was published this week. She said she gets irritated when she sees the name given to the new women's correctional center. Both men's facilities in Cameron are called correctional centers. “I fail to see why it should be different for the women here in Chillicothe,” she said.

A name change is, indeed, something that is being considered and was first discussed late last year, according to Department of Corrections Director Larry Crawford. “We are working on that,” said Crawford. “We're looking at changing the name to Chillicothe Women's Correctional Center.” He acknowledges that there will be significant differences between what is now known as Chillicothe Correctional Center and what will be built as a reception and diagnostic center. “A reception and diagnostic is much different than what they do at Chillicothe now,” the director said. “It will save law enforcement some miles and will serve the western side of the state.” 

The state currently has only one female reception and diagnostic center and that is in Vandalia. It's name is Women's Eastern Reception Diagnostic and Correctional Center. “That gets a little long,” Crawford said of the title. With Chillicothe's prison becoming a reception and diagnostic center it means that the state's only two women's prisons will also both be reception and diagnostic centers. This creates a persuasive reason to change Chillicothe Reception and Diagnostic Center simply to simply Chillicothe Women's Correctional Center with the understanding that both women's correctional centers are reception and diagnostic centers as well. Crawford said the terminology of “reception and diagnostic center” is used probably more for Department of Corrections differentiation.

Many Applauded in Effort to Save Prison
By CATHERINE STORTZ RIPLEY/C-T News Editor
Wednesday, October 25, 2006

CAPTION: David Rost, deputy director of the Missouri Department of Corrections, addressed some 300 people gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony for the Chillicothe Reception & Diagnostic Center Tuesday morning. Several individuals, including Gov. Matt Blunt, spoke at the ceremony. The center, which will nearly triple the capacity of the existing women's prison and more than double the employment, is expected to be opened by late 2008. 

C-T Photo/Laura Schuler

October 25, 2006 - In January 2004, Missouri Gov. Bob Holden proposed closing the aging women's prison in Chillicothe. With the threat of 200-plus local jobs on the line, efforts began immediately to convince the governor and legislators that the prison needed to stay open. With hard work and dedication by many parties involved that message came through loud and clear.

Now, in October 2006, not only is the Missouri Department of Corrections planning to maintain a presence in Chillicothe but the state is building a $120 million facility that will nearly triple the capacity of the current prison and more than double the number of corrections employees. On Tuesday of this week, many of those involved in making project a reality were on hand for the official groundbreaking of the Chillicothe Reception and Diagnostic Center in north Chillicothe. Gov. Matt Blunt, who had been a strong supporter of building a new facility ever since taking office in January 2005, delivered the keynote address.

“This is a great day in Chillicothe,” Blunt said. “It is exciting to be here.” With local and state officials joining him on stage, the governor applauded the efforts of those involved to make the new prison a reality. “None of this would have been possible without your legislators in the General Assembly,” Blunt said. “Nor would it have been possible without the strong support from your local leaders.” He also acknowledged the community efforts. “There is a tremendous support and partnership that exists,” he said. “Your local success is your state's success.” 

Gov. Blunt Helps Break Ground for $100 Million Prison
By CATHERINE STORTZ RIPLEY/C-T News Editor
Tuesday, October 24, 2006 

Groundbreaking Ceremony 10/24/2006...Click on image to see closer view.
C-T Photo / Laura Schuler

CAPTION: With shovels in hand, state and local officials as well as representatives from the Department of Corrections and JE Dunn Construction Group turned dirt during a ground-breaking ceremony marking the start of construction for a $100 million women's prison in north Chillicothe. The facility, to be known as Chillicothe Reception & Diagnostic Center, is expected to be opened for operation by late 2008.

October 24, 2006 - With great pomp, circumstance and a brisk chill in the air, state and local officials broke ground for what Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt said would become one of the state's most important capital improvement projects to be built during his term in office. Well over 300 people attended the ground-breaking ceremony this (Tuesday) morning for the $100 million Chillicothe Reception and Diagnostic Center which the state of Missouri is building in north Chillicothe. The event included comments by the governor who proposed issuing revenue bonds for the new facility during his January State of the State Address, as well as from state legislators, local officials and the contractor building the facility.

“This is a great day in Chillicothe,” Blunt said. “It is exciting to be here.” With local and state officials joining him on stage, the governor applauded the efforts of those involved to make the new prison a reality. “None of this would have been possible without your legislators in the General Assembly,” Blunt said. “Nor would it have been possible without the strong support from your local leaders.” He also acknowledged the community efforts. “There is a tremendous support and partnership that exists,” he said. “Your local success is your state's success. It is a very important project for public safety and economic development.”

Prison Groundbreaking Date Changed
Friday, October 6, 2006 

CAPTION: Much activity is taking place just off east side of Litton Road in north Chillicothe where the Missouri Department of Corrections is building the new Chillicothe Reception and Diagnostic Center. JE Dunn Construction, of Kansas City, is the general contractor on the project and crews have been utilizing the nearby water hydrant to spray the ground in order to reduce the amount of dust while they strip the dirt.

October 6, 2007 - The date for the formal groundbreaking ceremony of the $100 million prison being built in north Chillicothe has been delayed by 12 days so that Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt could be in attendance. It was announced today (Friday) by the Department of Corrections that Blunt, who has been a strong advocate for a new women's prison in Chillicothe, confirmed his planned attendance. The ceremony will be at either 10 or 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 24. Additional details will be announced later. Local and state dignitaries as well as individuals involved in the “Save Our Prison” effort are receiving special invitations. Much activity has been taking place at the 145-acre site over the last few weeks with JE Dunn Construction, of Kansas City, as the general contractor. Work has involved clearing the site of trees, brush and structures. The city utilities department has also been on site installing water lines.

City Personal and Real Estate Property Taxes Increased
Tuesday, August 15, 2006 

August 15, 2006 - Chillicothe City Council members voted 4-1 to increase the tax rate for personal and real estate property during their regular meeting Monday night in the council chambers at City Hall. The increase amounts to about 1-cent per $100 assessed valuation for 2006 with the increase projected to add about $19,000 more to the city coffers. Last year's taxes on real estate and personal property generated $678,520 and the new rate, if approved, would bring in about $697,293.

A public hearing to set the new rates was conducted Monday night and no one spoke either for or against the proposal. Although the approved tax rate is being increased by nearly a penny over last year's rate, the new rate is only slightly more than it was two years ago. Last year, the rate was dropped by nearly 3/4ths of a cent because the city's assessed valuations had increased.

The 2005 tax rate was $0.6300 for the city's general fund and $0.1771 for the city's park fund, resulting in a total rate of $0.8071 per $100 assessed valuation. The new rate for the general fund is $0.6369 per $100 assessed valuation and for the park fund, $0.1790, resulting in a total of $0.8159 per $100 assessed valuation.

City, CMU to Share Costs for Extensions to New Prison
Tuesday, August 15, 2006 

August 15, 2006 - Water and sewer extensions to the new women's prison will be paid for jointly through city and utilities funds. The full board of public works attended Monday night's city council meeting and explained what is needed to run water and sewer service to the new prison site in north Chillicothe. The board suggested that it was the city's obligation to pay for the utilities with money collected by the half-cent capital improvement sales tax extension passed earlier this year. Board members said that material distributed by the Secure our Future Committee prior to the election indicated that the tax money would be used for buying land, extending water and sewer lines and developing a new use for the existing prison property.

“The board is concerned about taking money out of reserves for water and sewer,” said Scott Stephens, president of the Board of Public Works. “It is the opinion of the people who voted for the tax that the tax would pay for water and sewer lines,” added board member Randy Steele. City Attorney Scott Washburn said that the city is authorized under the ballot language to use the sales tax extension money to pay for the water and sewer lines, but that it is not obligated to do so.

State Picks Prison Contractor
By CATHERINE STORTZ RIPLEY/C-T News Editor
Wednesday, July 19, 2006 

July 19, 2006 - A Kansas City company which has built three prisons in Missouri during the last 10 years has been identified as the company most likely to build the new Chillicothe Reception and Diagnostic Center. J.E. Dunn Construction, of Kansas City, was named the apparent high scorer after pricing proposals were opened in Jefferson City on Tuesday. The company scored 23.09 points with its pricing proposal and 54.5 points for its design plans, netting a total of 77.59 points. The company submitted a bid of $99,950,000. The bid specifications called for pricing proposals not to exceed $100 million.

Four teams submitted proposals for building the facility in north Chillicothe. Five were prequalified a couple of months ago but one - Flintco Constructive Solutions, of Springfield, Mo. - withdrew because it had taken on other projects. The remaining teams submitting proposals were J.E. Dunn, of Kansas City; Walton Construction, of Kansas City; River City Construction of East Peoria, Ill., and Falkner/USA, of Austin, Texas. River City Construction exceeded the bid requirement by submitting a pricing proposal of $124,850,000. The company did, however, capture the most points - 55 - for its design plan. Of the remaining three teams, J.E. Dunn scored the highest design points and lowest pricing points for a total of 77.59. Next highest for overall points was Falkner USA scoring 73.50 points (33.5 for design and 40 for price), followed by Walton Construction with 70.67 points (46.5 for design and 24.17 for price). 

Prison Plans Move Ahead on Schedule
By CATHERINE STORTZ RIPLEY/C-T News Editor
Thursday, June 1, 2006 

June 1, 2006 - Plans to build a new state prison in Chillicothe are moving ahead and are close to the original schedule with an anticipated December 2008 completion date. The project will be constructed using the design-build method which cuts the entire construction process down by over a year compared to traditional methods of building and, according to some state officials, shaves 10 percent off the total project cost.

Four teams are currently working on proposals for building the facility in north Chillicothe. Five were prequalified a couple of months ago but one - Flintco Constructive Solutions, of Springfield, Mo. - withdrew because it had taken on other projects. The remaining teams submitting proposals are J.E. Dunn, of Kansas City; Walton Construction, of Kansas City; River City Construction of East Peoria, Ill., and Faulkner/USA, of Austin, Texas.

Some lawmakers had hoped to push through a separate bill this past legislative session specifically calling for the design-build process to be used to construct the Chillicothe Reception and Diagnostic Center. The measure was never voted on; however, the design-build method was essentially approved when legislators had earlier passed the appropriations bill which called for building the new facility. “The appropriations bill said it would be done using design-build,” said John Hequembourg of the state's Division of Facilities Management, Design and Construction. “We were just trying to get clarification to the rules and take away any gray issues.”  

The new facility, expected to cost $120 million, will be built to house 1,636 women. The four qualified bidders are currently putting design proposals together to meet the July 6 deadline. The deadline was originally in June. They have until July 18 to submit their cost proposals for the project.

May 12, 2006 - Senate Bill 718, a piece of legislation that allows the state to increase its bonding capacity so that a new $120 million prison can be built in Chillicothe, passed through the House at about 4:10 p.m. Friday and has been forwarded onto the governor for his signature. The vote passed through the House 138-17. “I am overjoyed," said Rep. John Quinn (R-Chillicothe) in a telephone interview less than five minutes after the vote was taken. “It is now on its way to the governor." Also on the governor's desk is an appropriations bill allowing for the prison to be built. Gov. Matt Blunt has made building a new prison in Chillicothe a priority.

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