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Contact Us:

431 East Main StreetFax:719-784-2214
P.O. Box 355
Florence, CO 81226
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Founded in 2003 in Florence, Colorado, Desert Waters Correctional Outreach (DWCO) is a 501(c)(3) community-based tax-exempt corporation (EIN 30-0151345).

Advancing the well-being of correctional staff and their families, and the health of correctional agencies, through data-driven, skill-based training.

The Team

Nicole Whyms Brocato, Ph.D., Research Psychologist

Dr. Brocato has 12 years of combined research and applied experience in measure design, survey research, assessment systems design, program evaluation, qualitative research, and data analysis. She has statistical software experience with Mplus, SAS, SPSS and R. Dr. Brocato also has experience with advanced statistical methods, structural equation modeling (IRT, CFA, EFA), missing data methods (multiple imputation and FIML), diagnostic classification models, longitudinal data analysis, measurement invariance, and scoring. Dr. Brocato’s applied areas of research have included higher education, child clinical assessment, and positive psychology. She has helped community mental health centers, large hospital systems, and government agencies evaluate and improve their programs and
assessment systems. With programming experience in four statistical programming languages, expertise in theoretical and applied psychometrics, and experience as both a designer and user of measures, Dr. Brocato lends a unique and well-rounded methodological rigor to evaluation and assessment teams. She also has experience writing grants, managing multi-million- dollar research programs across multiple sites, providing training to small and large audiences, and translating complex psychometric theory into presentations and documents that are accessible to lay audiences.

Jean Cecile Delozier, M.C.J.P.A.

Jean Cecile Delozier’s passion for correctional staff wellness is a result of sixteen years working in private, country and state facilities and witnessing first-hand the impact of corrections work on men and women. While working with juvenile and adult offenders she recognized early that life balance and a focus on self-care was critical to a long career in this profession. She has been a CF2F instructor since 2015 and is invested in wellness projects in her current role as a Training Director at a state penitentiary. Jean received a Master of Criminal Justice Public Administration in 2017.



Susan Jones, Ph.D., Master Instructor

Dr. Susan Jones retired after working for 31 years in Colorado corrections. Dr. Jones began her career in corrections in 1981 as a Community Corrections Counselor. In 1985, she entered the Colorado Department of Corrections as a Correctional Officer at the Fremont Correctional Facility. She then moved up through the ranks as a Sergeant, Lieutenant, Administrative Manager, Associate Warden until her appointment as Warden, from which position she retired in July 2012. During her career she has worked with male and female inmates at all custody levels. Her assignments included training, programs, custody/control, administration, and case management. Dr. Jones has a bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science from the University of Southern Colorado, a master’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration from the University of Colorado, Denver, and a doctorate from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Dr. Jones’ research interests revolve around issues that correctional employees face.

Brent Parker, B.A., Director of Training

Brent Parker has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration and Sociology from Illinois State University. In 2014, he retired from the Colorado Department of Corrections, after 29.5 years of service, during which where he held sixteen different positions and moved through the ranks from correctional officer to director of training. Specifically, he moved through the security and housing ranks, where he promoted offender success and maintained safety and security. Brent then moved to administration, serving as re-entry specialist, program manager, public information officer, legislative liaison, and finally the director of training, where he oversaw the Corrections Training Academy.  With a heart for staff safety and wellness, the Training Academy gave Brent the opportunity to provide career development opportunities and quality training programs. He taught criminal justice classes at the Pueblo Community College, and served at state and national levels. He was elected president of the Colorado Criminal Justice Association, Colorado’s chapter of the American Correctional Association, and he sat on national ACA committees and review boards. Brent has been a workshop presenter for the American Correctional Association, and served the National Institute of Corrections as a regional training coordinator and nationally certified trainer. After retiring from the CDOC, Brent was asked to serve locally at the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, where he developed training programs and worked with probation and local specialty courts. He served at that position until the end of 2016. Brent has devoted his working life to the success and safety of both staff and offenders, and that is why he continues to promote corrections employees’ well-being, now through Desert Waters’ services. He has been involved in corrections at all levels and understands from first-hand experience the challenges faced by today’s correctional staff, supervisors and administrators.  Brent’s life-long motto is:  Leave it better than you found it.

Jeffrey Rude, Master Instructor

Jeffrey Rude has been working for the Washington State Department of Corrections (WADOC) since July 1995. He has worked in a variety of positions to include Officer, Sergeant, Grievance Coordinator, and Case Manager. Jeff has been an instructor for the WADOC since 1997, and has instructed Emergency Response, Stress Management, Report Writing, Prison Safety, Security Mindset, and other courses. He is an instructor for Assisting Individuals in Crisis through the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, and instructs those who wish to use these techniques to assist others or who want to become part of a local CISM team. Jeff has experienced many different incidents during his career, and has come to understand how this type of work can affect all corrections staff. He is a member of the Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Team, and has been deployed to several incidents in order to provide stress-related care to first responders. About that, he has said, “It is a true blessing to be able to assist others who are experiencing a traumatic event, and see them recognize they have the strength to persevere.” He says his passion is for the welfare of his fellow staff, which is why he serves with Desert Waters, and believes he has been called to minister to others as he is able. Jeffrey is a National Police & Fire Chaplains’ Academy graduate, and a certified chaplain.

Caterina G. Spinaris, Ph.D., LPC, Executive Director

Caterina Spinaris, Ph.D., LPC, is a licensed professional counselor in the State of Colorado with 33 years of clinical experience. She holds M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Psychology from the University of Calgary, Canada, and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Lesley University. She is the founding director of Desert Waters Correctional Outreach, a Colorado-based 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation established in 2003 with the mission to promote the occupational, personal and family well-being of the corrections workforce through the provision of evidence-informed resources, solutions, and support. Caterina’s passion is designing evidence-informed educational wellness materials for corrections agencies. She has also treated corrections professionals and family members; conducted research on corrections occupational health; and oversaw the crisis hotline, the Corrections Ventline. Her research interests include resilience, post-traumatic stress disorder, and Corrections Fatigue—a term she coined in 2000, which denotes the cumulative negative effects of operational, organizational, and traumatic stressors associated with corrections work. Caterina authored the book, “Staying Well: Strategies for Corrections Staff,” and co-authored the e-book, “Processing Corrections Work: A Workbook to Combat Corrections Fatigue and Increase Corrections Fulfillment.” She is the editor of the book series, “Passing It Along: Wisdom from Corrections Staff,” and of Desert Waters’ monthly e-zine, the Correctional Oasis. In 2014, she received the Harry Tinsley Award from the Colorado Criminal Justice Association for outstanding achievement in the field of criminal justice, and in 2016, the International Association of Correctional Training Personnel selected Caterina’s course “From Corrections Fatigue to Fulfillment” for its Commercial Product award of excellence.

Corrin Hogan, Office Assistant

Judy Myers, Administrative Assistant

Lisa Parker, Executive Assistant

Ted Tudor, Technical Assistant

E-Board Members


Eugene Atherton, Secretary

Eugene Atherton, BA, is the President and Head Consultant of Correctional Consulting Services Group (CCSG). CCSG provides direction and services to clients in a variety of correctional subject areas such as organizational management, staffing issues, event assessment, systems development, security auditing and auditing systems development.Gene has provided evidence in Federal and State Courts as an expert witness on a variety of correctional issues including conditions of confinement, facility design, use of force, unlawful discrimination, management of high risk offenders, training and curriculum development and human resource management. Mr. Atherton is currently in his 40th year of service in the criminal justice field, serving 27 years for the Colorado Department of Corrections. For the last fifteen years, Mr. Atherton has served as a technical assistance consultant and trainer for the National Institute of Corrections on a variety of topics related to corrections. Additionally, he serves as a member of several committees for the American Correctional Association (ACA) and has authored numerous ACA publications.

Ted Tudor, Treasurer

Ted Tudor has been a volunteer at Desert Waters Correctional Outreach since its inception in 2003, and served on its Board in 2003 and 2004. Ted has worked as a truck driver and a truck driver trainer for 30 years, and is the author of the “Professional Truck Driving Manual” Volumes 1 & 2. Ted is married to Desert Waters’ founding director, Caterina Spinaris.

Joan Shoemaker, Chair

Joan Shoemaker, BSN, MBA has extensive background in correctional systems. Retired from the Colorado Department of Corrections, she worked in several roles throughout the system. She served as warden of a multi-custody prison complex housing both men and women for six years. She actively participated in research initiatives including evaluation of Therapeutic Community for Women, NIDA project CJ-DATS, and administrative segregation. At retirement, she was Deputy Director of Prisons responsible education, food service, laundry programs, and health care as the health authority for the entire prison system. In her role as Deputy Director, Ms. Shoemaker was appointed to several state level committees and boards including the Behavioral Health Transformation Council and Justice Assistance Grant Board. After retiring, she was a Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Visiting Fellow. Her fellowship focused on implementation strategies for corrections regarding the Affordable Care Act. Shoemaker has worked actively with the American Correctional Association (ACA) on several issues including health care reform. Additionally, she is a certified national accreditation auditor and was elected to and served on the ACA Commission for Accreditation for three years. In 2015, she received from the Colorado Criminal Justice Association (CCJA) the Harry Tinsley Award. This award recognizes a firm commitment to excellence and major positive contributions to Colorado’s criminal justice system.


Your tax-deductible contribution enables us to continue to positively impact the professional and personal lives of corrections staff.

Click the DONATE button below to donate online via PayPal or alternatively click HERE to download a printable form that you can mail or Fax.

Note: Donations to Desert Waters Correctional Outreach are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

Our Story

Desert Waters Correctional Outreach, Inc., was founded by Caterina Spinaris, PhD, LPC, together with a group of citizens in Fremont County, CO, who were concerned about the health and well-being of corrections staff and their families.

Since Caterina does not have any corrections or other law enforcement background, she has been frequently asked why she got interested in this population. Here is an abbreviated story of how Desert Waters came to be.

Prior to moving to Fremont County, Caterina resided and worked in Denver, CO, in her independent psychotherapy practice. In September of 1999, she felt a very strong urge to move to Fremont County, CO, which, unbeknownst to her, at the time housed 12 prisons (8 state and 4 federal) plus a county jail, and had several other prisons and jails in immediately adjoining counties.

Caterina ended up moving to Florence, in Fremont County, in February 2000, intending to semi-retire and work in her practice part-time. Soon after starting her practice in Cañon City, CO, she began having corrections staff, family members, former spouses, and retirees seek her psychotherapy services. It quickly became very obvious to her that several of her corrections staff clients were dealing with seemingly work-related post-traumatic symptoms and depression symptoms, but had never “connected the dots.” Caterina also heard from various community members about the toll of corrections work, including high suicide rates of corrections staff.

As part of her treatment plan, Caterina sought corrections-specific resources to offer to her corrections staff clients and their families, but she could hardly find any such resources.

That is when she started sensing a prompting to step up and begin to offer products and services specific to this population.

Caterina was initially very reluctant to do so, as she has no law enforcement or military background, and as she was intending to semi-retire. However, the inner prompting persisted, and it eventually became apparent to her that this was a spiritual calling.

In response to the call, Caterina initially created a few products, including coining the term “Corrections Fatigue” in the year 2000 and putting together the first version of what today is Desert Waters’ signature course “From Corrections Fatigue to Fulfilment™.” And as the inner prompting would not let up, after much inner struggle, and in response to the obvious need, in the year 2003 Caterina gathered a team around her and incorporated Desert Waters Correctional Outreach as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation dedicated to the well-being of corrections staff and their families.

The rest is history!

If you are experiencing a suicidal crisis or emotional distress, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or chat at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.