Today, Governor Tate Reeves announced the appointment two new department heads in key positions.
Taking the place of former Public Safety Commissioner Marshall Fisher will be Judge and former legislator Sean Tindell. Stepping into the roll of Corrections Commissioner is Burl Cain, the former warden of Angola in Louisiana.
Tindell is currently a Court of Appeals Judge for District 5, serving since October 2017. He previously served in the Mississippi Senate for District 49, first elected in 2012. He served as the Chairman of the Judiciary A Committee and was also vice chair of the Senate Tourism Committee while in the Legislature.
Tindell previously worked as the assistant district attorney for the Second Circuit District of Harrison, Hancock and Stone counties from 2002 to 2007. He then went into private practice, serving as a prosecutor for the City of Biloxi and as city attorney for the City of Diamondhead. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi.
“I have known Sean for many years and consider him a good friend and strong, capable leader. Having worked with him in the Senate, I know how dedicated he is to serving the people of Mississippi,” said Governor Tate Reeves. “From the Senate to the bench, Sean has spent many years fighting for the rights and safety of our people. I am grateful to have him accept this task to lead DPS and protect the safety of all who call our great state home.”
Taking over the Department of Corrections is Burl Cain. Cain retired from a 40 year career with the Louisiana Department of Corrections. He served at the Senior Warden lebel for 34 of those years, including 20 years as the Warden of Louisiana State Penitentiary, the state’s largest maximum security prison. According to his website, under his leadership the once “bloodiest prison” became one of the safest, most secure and progressive maximum security facilities.
Cain was part of the leadership that founded and facilitated the Accredited Hospice Program, Bible College in conjunction with the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and also raised private funds to build seven chapels for inmate use. He worked with Awana to create the Malachi Dad’s program. This program works to reconnect inmates with their children while preparing them to be positive role models.
Cain received a Bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University and a Master’s in criminal justice from Grambling State University. He was certified through the American Correctional Association as a Corrections Executive. He is an active member of Prison Fellowship Ministries, Brooklyn Tabernacle, Department of Corrections Credit Union and also served on the Board of Governors of the American Correctional Association from 2011 to 2015.
“Today, we took an important step forward to continue restoring the integrity of the Department of Corrections. I am grateful to my fellow Mississippians who helped in this task to scour the nation for the right candidate,” said Governor Tate Reeves. “We need a strong, experienced leader that Mississippians can trust, and I believe that person is Burl. I do not make this decision lightly. The safety and dignity of all within our system is at stake. Burl’s impressive, decades-long career in corrections, leading prison facilities and ushering in progressive measures to improve conditions is exactly what we need. We still have a long road ahead of us, but Burl will lead MDOC in the right direction.”
He is replacing former Commissioner of Corrections Pelicia Hall.