A Missouri Department of Corrections employee from Jackson County is the February State Employee of the Month.
Meredith Conklin has worked for DOC for the last 3 1/2 years and supervises offenders who have been identified by federal, state and local law enforcement as having a high probability for violence either as a victim or perpetrator. They are at a high risk to reoffend or become the victim of a homicide due to an association with social networks.
According to her supervisors, Conklin holds the offenders accountable, while at the same time showing compassion for them by addressing their needs, goals and "effectively partnering them with the right community resources."
An offender discharged from Conklin's supervision wrote, "In the two years she had my case, she has helped me so much and always gave me a positive outlook on my life and how to fix my problems. Being a probation and parole officer is more than a job to her as she is always showing care and concern for my well-being."
In addition to managing her caseload, Conklin is also liaison to local and regional community resources.
She volunteers to assist in coverage for other caseloads, she's a coach to newer staff, finds speakers for victim impact panel classes and has developed the Aim 4 Peach Gun Violence Class, which is offered through the Kansas City Health Department. It offers gun impact training for offenders. Many of her efforts have been recognized in statewide and national publications.
Conklin said, "Being a probation and parole officer has always been my dream job."