Burl Cain

Burl Cain


Louisiana State Penitentiary

Angola, LA USA

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


By Roadtrip Nation

Burl Cain


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.



I supervise and manage a state prison.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
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.


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."