Episode four of The Right On Crime Podcast features The Correctional Leadership Network and a nuts and bolts conversation with Burl Cain, Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Corrections and former warden at the Louisiana State Penitentiary (Angola).
Commissioner Cain talks with Right On Crime Director Scott Peyton about the importance of putting violent criminals behind bars while upending the futility of a “lock and feed” prison system. Cain is determined to change the world of corrections and make Mississippi a model for prisons across the nation through innovative programming and reentry initiatives that promote public safety in Mississippi communities.
“Maybe we’re the safest state in the nation because, like many of my peers, we feel like people committing crime need to be in prison, not on the street,” said Commissioner Cain. “Corrections means to correct deviant behavior. It doesn’t mean lock and feed and torture and torment. We have to focus on the short-term inmates that are getting out to be sure they are employable. It’s not soft skills that get you a job. It’s hard skills that gets you a job.”
Cain is working to turn around the way prisons operate in Mississippi with transformative job training programs and initiatives with communities. Cain says, “We really need to change people’s lives so they can make it on the streets. And then we’ll see our (prison) population start to drop.”
Peyton, who also serves as the Mississippi Director of Right On Crime, says Commissioner Cain is setting an example for prisons around the nation. “As prisons fill up, remember that 95% of them will eventually be released,” said Peyton. “That work begins behind bars and the Mississippi Department of Corrections is making innovative changes under the leadership of Commissioner Cain.”
The Right On Crime Podcast features conservative conversations, policies, and best practices on criminal justice innovation in America.
The Correctional Leadership Network is a dynamic group of corrections professionals and thought leaders sharing best practices and expertise in criminal justice policy.
Through policy discussions, advocacy, podcasts, and events across the nation with state correctional leaders, Right On Crime’s Correctional Leadership Network will ensure that correctional expertise is properly weighed in the national debate around criminal justice policy with the ultimate goal to support public safety.