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SCCC correctional officer arrested on drug charges

Photo submitted
Paige Cook

By Pat Burton, LPD Chief of Police

LICKING, Mo. –  On April 6, 2023, the Licking Police Department and the South Central Correctional Center’s (SCCC) Investigation Team concluded a long-term narcotics investigation involving a SCCC correctional officer.

During the investigation, SCCC Investigators discovered a SCCC correctional officer, Paige Cook, was having telephonic communications with an inmate, outside of work. As they continued their investigation, the suspicion of drugs being introduced into the facility by Cook grew and the Licking Police Department was contacted.

A Licking Police officer responded and conducted an interview with Cook, where she admitted to having items in her vehicle, which contained an illegal substance, that she intended to introduce into the facility. Cook admitted to obtaining the illegal items from the inmate’s family and was instructed to take them to the inmate in question.

A search of Cook’s vehicle was conducted and multiple rolls of paper, soaked in synthetic cannabinoid, and wrapped in plastic wrap were in the vehicle. A prescription pill identified as a DEA schedule IV controlled substance was also in the vehicle.

Cook was transported to the Texas County Jail where she was booked and released. A Probable Cause Statement has been sent to the Texas County Prosecutor’s Office seeking the following charge: Paige M. Cook, age 22, of Cabool, Mo., Delivery/Possession of Controlled Substance at Correction Center, Class D Felony.

The above information is just mere accusations and is not evidence of guilt. Evidence in support of any charges must be presented before a court of competent jurisdiction whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.


  1. Mike Bell on April 7, 2023 at 5:02 pm

    I Hope the prosecuter can take that SMIRKY SMILE off her face!! She put Everyone that works their lives in Jeopardy!! This is what happens when you put kids in a level 5 Instution!!

    • Paige Cook on April 7, 2023 at 11:40 pm

      For your info I never took a damn thing in and I never knew what it even was. When the man showed up and we talked he pulled it out and it was super suspicious bc If it was just regular paper I was gonna take it in. But when I seen it was all wrapped up and stuff I was to scared to say anything because I didn’t wanna get in trouble. I made up excuses as to why I couldn’t take it in. It sat in my car for a couple weeks and the guy was suppose to take it back because I didn’t wanna take it in. So once again I didn’t know it was drugs If I did I wouldn’t of been stuck in that situation. I was to scared to say no yes I can admit that. Did I end up falling for an offender that I feel as if the facility kept putting me in there with them because they THOUGHT I was taking shit in on purpose yea sure as hell. Only thing i actually did wrong was have contact outside of work. But I treat them like people not trash. So I was well liked and kept a couple of people who worked there from getting stabbed thank you very much. I never put anyone in danger I kept them out of it. So have a good night and hope you sleep better man.

      • Harvey Seidel on April 17, 2023 at 8:01 pm

        Licking is a dangerous place. I did a lot of time there as well in other institutions. But people on here are finding you guilty just from what they hear. I wish you the best and I know others are bringing stuff in

      • I worked there on December 20, 2023 at 10:14 am

        I’d call BS you knew exactly what you were doing and you were going to bring the stuff in you were probably just waiting for the right time, you’re not the first person that wanted or needed money and you’re not the first female who “fell for an offender“ so you wanted to bring stuff in and the sad part is u probably won’t be the last. I worked there for years and seen it all, from cooks that look like u doing the same stuff to other staff members that look like u that the offenders prey on to get what they want. Offenders use staff all the time to get what they want and it looks like it worked on you as well, you knew regardless and the look on your face in the mug shot tells at all. Exactly why you do not put kids in a grown-up profession!

    • Ken Kaniff From Connecticut on April 8, 2023 at 11:59 am

      It’s all over the state. From Level 1 to Level 5. Level 1 is considered more dangerous because there is a extreme freedom of offender movement. Level 1 camp don’t mean squat. Your a fool to think level 1 is a safer place. Know that there are high level offenders in a level 1 camp. Why? Not enough staff to get the process going to get them transferred out.

    • Amber on April 8, 2023 at 3:17 pm

      Why would this correctional officer even attempt to bring any king of drug related items on any kind of Correctional Facility? Maybe it’s lack of common sense????

      • I worked there on December 20, 2023 at 10:17 am

        Some bring stuff in because they actually believe the offender likes them or because the offender will tell them they will get a lot of money if they do. A cool worked there an was caught with the inmate n a room and needless to say she was fired on the spot then the inmate now has charges on her for “raping” him. If that don’t tell u the offenders prey on ppl to get what they want idk what does lol

    • It'll be alright on April 8, 2023 at 6:22 pm

      Thanks for your input

      • Linda Clay on April 13, 2023 at 1:57 am

        You people need to be reminded that in this country it’s Innocent until Proven Guilty. Keep that in mind when you’re spewing your crap.

        • Alisa on April 21, 2023 at 1:33 pm


    • Daniel Thomas on April 9, 2023 at 8:17 am

      Maybe she was feeling pretty and was smiling at tge guard who took her picture.

      • Bogus on April 12, 2023 at 4:21 pm

        Greed and there’s no way she didn’t know. Inmates are dying and this is why. She needs to be held accountable for this not act like she’s stupid. She’s 100% guilty

    • Stephen on April 9, 2023 at 8:24 pm

      She needs the fullest extent of law that is not good she thinks it funny

    • Harvey Seidel on April 17, 2023 at 8:09 pm

      First, I agree they shouldn’t be hiring people just out of High School or the elderly. But your comment implies it is only the young staff members bringing stuff in prison. I can tell you that age has nothing to so with . Staff of all ages and even rank have brought illegal things into the prisons. Now I am not trying to defend her but at the same time i I am not going to say she is guilty before I know for sure. Thats the problem with society today they assume people are guilty before trial

      • RD on June 23, 2023 at 9:31 pm

        All rank is true – our deputy warden got “walked out” this month for allegedly providing drugs to offenders putting both offender and staff in harms way. As far as I know, she won’t face any legal repercussions and the warden did not contact law enforcement. A young CO also got walked out when a Licking CO witnessed her passing to offenders. It’s all being covered up by COC. MODOC is corrupt as all hell. Good for SCCC reporting this to the proper authorities. Wish MECC would. *These are my thoughts and the information provided is unsubstantiated . . . because there was no proper investigation..

    • Jordan Brewer on September 11, 2023 at 6:20 pm

      Eh this is what happens when you put an irresponsible teenager in there!!! I’m 21 and doing fine in there sir. There should be an age cap of 21 to attend prison academy just like police academy!.

    • I worked there on December 20, 2023 at 10:22 am

      I hope so too but the sad part is they probably won’t do anything to her. She will think that she didn’t put anyone in danger but she did. When ppl get a high there is no way to tell what that person is going to do. And the fact she said that she kept some that work there from getting hurt tells u that she was doing things she wasn’t supposed to and up to no good. I was well liked but I wasn’t doing things I wasn’t supposed to or fell for any offender. U can treat them like people and not get mixed up with them. She just don’t get it. Kids these days.

  2. Paige Cook on April 7, 2023 at 6:19 pm

    Lmao this is honestly the funniest thing I have ever read. I would love to hear where I had admittedly said I was doing all of this? And never once did I say I was intended to do anything. And the only thing that gave you any suspicion was all the drama held at y’all’s shitty ass prison!! Everyone’s sleeping around on their spouses and giving drugs to the inmates while y’all sit on your asses and come at the people who are actually not doing anything!! Yes there was those papers in my vehicle untouched may I say. I was told they were legal papers I didn’t know what they were!! They never taught us that people do that crap!! I was in the wrong for talking to them yes but the other crap the man who left that crap in my car should be getting charged for it not me!! Maybe if we didn’t have to fear for our fucking lives or be threatened and actually be protected or have someone actually listen to you when you say you don’t feel safe!! Nothing would ever happened. Y’all’s system is completely fucked. And very much inhumane. I get it that it’s prison but y’all shouldn’t be treating everyone’s loved one the way y’all do. Free casing them and letting them sit in their own puke while blood is pouring out of their face when they are handcuffed and can’t even wipe their mouth. It’s a cruel place. And y’all’s assumptions are cruel.

    • Lola on April 17, 2023 at 7:17 pm

      Paige I appreciate you for treating the inmates like human beings. Hope everything works out for you. 👍💯

    • Former MO CO on April 18, 2023 at 10:35 am

      Yes Paige, we are taught that in the 6weeks of basic training. We are taught you don’t take things inside the prison to give to offenders. We are taught you don’t make contact with offender families, and that the moment we suspect we are in a compromised situation we are to report it to our supervisors. I hate that you’ve found yourself in that situation. And yes, MO prisons are not the best working environment. Best wishes to you. Hoping this situation turns around for you.

    • Jess on October 9, 2023 at 10:55 pm

      Paige, this is former juror number 31 out of Saint Francis County. I can promise I’ll say innocent on your case if I am in jury selection again if you can answer one question. It’s not about drugs. Call me at 5737184676.

    • I worked there on December 20, 2023 at 10:29 am

      Oh stop with the “I’m a victim” they do teach u that crap in basic! They tell u to not get involved with inmates, they tell u to not bring stuff in and even show u videos of ppl who have done it and was in prison and or jail because of it. And u should know after all the stuff they teach u that inmates will feed u with anything to get what they want. Just take accountability for ur actions and stop playing dumb!

  3. Susan Rogers on April 8, 2023 at 9:23 pm

    We all have made poor choices at different points in our lives. Instead of being judgemental, have COMPASSION. If she’s a multiple time offender, oh well. Good luck.

  4. DJB on April 9, 2023 at 8:08 am

    Is this the result of all of the deaths in Licking Missouri correctional facility? WOW

  5. Loyd Moore on April 9, 2023 at 2:05 pm

    If anybody is surprised at this you need to wake up happens every day

  6. Heather Hedrickson on April 9, 2023 at 2:05 pm

    Thats a level 5 prison. The most dangerous inmates in the state are held there. She is smiling in her mug shot like its funny she got caught bringing drugs into the prison. Being charged with a class d felony is some B.S.! They should have put her in a cell at the prison. I bet she would not be smilling then! I praise the corrections staff for catching her. Corrections officers have one of the most stressfull and dangerous jobs on the planet. They are under paid, over worked, and unappreciated. God bless all of you! Stay safe.

  7. Beverly kroush on April 9, 2023 at 3:01 pm

    I worked for 25 plus change as a corrections officer, Never could understand why the hell anyone would do anything for an inmate…let alone go to prison, just really stupid….

  8. igy6 on April 10, 2023 at 7:37 pm

    If you just sit there and try to justify anything… to anybody…they are going to bury you just to set an example. Your “friends” and coworkers are going to do anything they can to keep their name out of it and to keep any information you have about them quiet. You need to be proactive instead of reactive. The truth needs exposed……Who gives a **** about somebody’s comment on here, do you really want to put any credibility on someone who feels entitled to kick you when you are down? here is your platform and now is your time to speak. Use it wisely or like I said……. they will bury you to conceal their secrets.

    ok internet tough guys…. im ready for your opinions, comments and otherwise brainless contributions to the subject. Everybody is a bad *** around here lol

  9. Lynn on April 10, 2023 at 9:31 pm

    Ok, I know you personally from work, judge mental no- opinions are created by the colors shown by you. For me, and the concerned I carried was from the start. It wasn’t if you were- it was the when you were going too. From the start everyone in that training academy was trying to look out for you and give you the advice not to get wrapped up- but the attention you craved put you were you are. I hope you get some serious counseling for your self esteem. You have others that depend upon you- and from one mom to another I feel sorry for you.

  10. Jimmy on April 11, 2023 at 12:36 pm

    Beautiful picture

  11. Currently COI on May 20, 2023 at 1:35 am

    The reason that’s you need to be punished is the simple fact that your blaming everyone for your poor choices. You never once actually own your actions and in court this is going to be your worse mistake, you blame the other employees, the man who brought it to you, and make excuses that your actuality a good person! Lol This is all the signs for what is taught as a criminal mindset, you either need a psych evaluation or just to grow up! You are obviously spoiled and entitled and I believe your own father helped get you caught? (Could be wrong about that part) However you are taught not to speak to offenders, not to bring anything in for them no matter what it is!! N for you to defend your actions and act like you were clueless, it’s the most ridiculous thing ever said!!! You knew what that paper was when you picked it up, no stranger is going to deliver you papers! Lol! Your trained in depth over K-2 and it has a waxy recognizable look. You mouthing people on here and slamming them after what you did shows your true colors, and then to mouth good officers!!! Thebn it’s obvious your still speaking to this offender based in your comments about all the evil officers era and poor inmates. Shame on you I pray for your soul!!!

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