Burl Cain

Burl Cain

Warden


Louisiana State Penitentiary

Angola, LA USA


To be great among your peers, you must serve. That’s what a leader is.

Videos

By Roadtrip Nation

Burl Cain

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
I went to Louisiana State University and studied agriculture—I wanted to become a vocational teacher for the National FFA Organization.
After graduating, I taught for a few months, but quickly realized that I did not enjoy it.
Having started my career with the American Farm Bureau Federation, I was appointed as the assistant secretary of agribusiness for the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections.
I was then appointed as the warden of the Dixon Correctional Institute in Jackson, Louisiana.
I spent 14 years as warden of the DCI before accepting the position as warden of the Louisiana State Penitentiary.
A year after becoming warden, I invited the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary to set up a Bible college at the prison to help the inmates gain higher education, and find morality and peace.
When I started as warden, the Louisiana State Penitentiary was known as one of the most violent prisons in the U.S.—but the violence has decreased significantly over my tenure as warden.

Career

Warden

I supervise and manage a state prison.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Law
Government
Working with Others

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Teaching was actually great preparation for this role. I believe that if you're a good teacher, you can be a good warden. My job is to lead, guide, and uphold order—all things that a teaching background prepares you for.

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Peers:

"You've never worked in a prison before, so you can't be a good warden. You don't know how to do it."

Interviewed By

Anonymous Student