by Hunter Dawkins

During the press conference Wednesday afternoon at the Woolfolk building in Jackson, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves appointed Sean Tindell of Gulfport to lead the Department of Public Safety and Burl Cain to takeover the Department of Corrections.

Tindell has been an associate justice on the Mississippi Court of Appeals since 2017 after David Ishee was promoted to the State Supreme Court.  The judge fills the vacancy of the department at the retirement of Commissioner Marshall Fisher.  The commissioner position heads the Department of Public Safety, which includes the Highway Patrol, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.

The department also handles driver’s license services, and licensing stations have had problems with long lines and long waiting times in recent years. Judge Tindell said Wednesday his focus will be on fixing those inadequacies.  

Additionally, Tindell served in the Mississippi State Senate under Reeves from 2012-2017 before the judicial appointment.  The former state senator represented the Gulfport and Biloxi areas.

Cain is the legendary warden that altered the Angola prison in the Louisiana State Penitentiary, where he served from 1995 to March 7, 2016.  The warden was known for making numerous improvements and lowering the rate of violence at the prison, but court challenges to harsh conditions there have continued.

“Transformation does take time but the time for action is now,” Governor Reeves said of his two hirings.

As of 2011 the annual budget of the Louisiana State Penitentiary was more than $120 million whereas Mississippi has not done nearly as well.