Office of Research, Planning and Process Improvement

The Office of Research, Planning and Process Improvement supports the Missouri Department of Corrections by generating data and conducting analyses that support data-driven decision making. Members of our team lead strategic planning functions; provide statistics for departmental activities; evaluate program performance (e.g., recidivism, customer satisfaction) to inform internal and external stakeholders; oversee research conducted by or with department interests to further correctional knowledge and inform best practices; and foster continual improvement in services and products provided to the citizens of Missouri.

To make a request under Missouri’s Sunshine Law, contact the custodian of records:

Research & Evaluation

This section also collects and analyzes information about correctional populations, conducts statistical evaluations of programs run by the department that aim to impact the behavior of Missourians sentenced to our supervision, either in an institution or in the community, and reviews formal requests to conduct research with interests of the department. Download public case-level data about people sentenced to the Department of Corrections here:

The Missouri Department of Corrections is committed to supporting research that increases the ability of the agency and researchers to inform corrections policy and practice and that contributes to general knowledge of criminal justice and other academic fields. We are devoted to the safety and rights of people who are placed in our custody or who work as our teammates. For these reasons, all proposed research that uses employees of, individuals under the supervision of, or data belonging to the department shall submit an application that is assessed for scientific merit, reviewed for protection of human subjects and authorized by the participating division (i.e., Adult Institutions, Probation & Parole, Offender Rehabilitative Services, or Human Services). Complete a Research Agreement and Data Request form, and email the form for review to The department may charge for requests that require significant staff time. You will be notified of our decision or if charges are applicable.

Please note: Due to current staffing vacancies, our ability to support research requests is very limited. We will evaluate new research requests as they are received and will notify the requesting party of our ability to support the request as soon as we can. Generally, you should expect that new research requests will NOT be approved.

Planning & Grants

This unit helps to develop and implement a strategic plan that will move the department toward our vision: Excellence in Corrections for a Safer Missouri. Learn more about our strategic initiatives by visiting the Missouri state government’s management priorities at or by reviewing our strategic plan initiatives and progress:

Planning & Grants also seeks opportunities to fund and study innovative correctional practices though grant and technical assistance awards. We engage with research partners to evaluate activities supported through these awards and ensure this work supports the mission: Improving Lives for Safer Communities. If you are seeking support for a grant application, please submit to Shelly Graf a detailed description of the grant you intend to pursue, the support you require from MODOC, and information about previous projects on which you have collaborated with us to successfully complete.

Decision Support & Administrative Analysis

This unit provides analysis and visualization of data owned by or shared with the department. Data-driven decisions are made possible through modern analytics and visualization that support the operations of our divisions. The unit also develops scenarios to estimate the impact of potential legislation on correctional populations and supports the state’s process for assessing the fiscal impact of new or changed laws. The unit supplies research and survey data to agencies within and outside state government and provides annual statistics for the offender population. For more information about this report, go to our publications. For more detailed information, download public case level data for Missourians sentenced to the Department of Corrections  at

Quality Assurance & Process Improvement

This unit establishes and maintains effective program implementation and process oversight functions that enable the department to monitor, correct, redirect, and achieve strategic goals in a manner that fosters continual performance improvement. The unit ensures that the processes and programs established conform to corrections best and evidence-based practices and are in compliance with any state, national, or international regulations or standards. To learn more about the State of Missouri’s operational excellence and process improvement initiatives, please visit Show Me Excellence. If you are a staff person and have an idea about how to improve our operations, please click here: to submit your idea for review.