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The annual Missouri Reentry Conference continues to benefit from the collaboration among the Missouri Department of Corrections, Missouri Department of Social Services, Family and Community Trust (FACT), and ARCHS. The organizations jointly plan, promote, and implement this professional development opportunity. This year marked the 11th anniversary of the conference, which started in St. Louis in 2005 with less than 50 participants. The November 2016 conference celebrated the 10th anniversary of MRP teams (including STAR) being active throughout Missouri and featured testimonials from ex-offenders served by local MRP teams.

The conference featured 354 attendees, 53 presenters, 8 group sessions, 24 breakout sessions, 3,540 individual training hours, and 10 exhibitors.  98% of participants said they learned things that will inform their work, and 97% said the conference met their professional development needs.

Keynote speakers included: Heather Gieck (Healing House), Toni Jordan (Let’s Start), Julie Kempker (Department of Corrections), Becky James-Hatter (Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri), Christine McDonald (author), and Dr. Norm White (Saint Louis University).

Participants were awarded 10 contact hours via Missouri Substance Abuse Professional Credentialing Board (MSAPCB) and 1 CEU (10 contact hours) via Missouri State University. Reentry efforts, family relationships, and public safety in communities across the state are strengthened by the best practices and creative solutions shared at these innovative conferences.

At the event, Nancy McCarthy, STAR's co-chair, (pictured above) was recognized for her years of service on the conference's planning team. She will retire in spring 2017 from her position as Regional Administrator, Missouri Department of Corrections, Probation and Parole.

The 2017 conference is scheduled for Nov. 1-3 at The Lodge of Four Seasons.