Burl brings a wealth of knowledge from his more than 40 years in corrections. Burl continues in his service and leadership within the American Correctional Association and other leading correctional entities. He is widely recognized as a transformative figure in the world of corrections. The PSF team also includes experts in prison programming in Dr. Denny Autrey, Dr. Vance Drum, and Dr. Jimmy Dukes.
The transformation of Angola Prison, during the 22 years of Warden Burl Cain’s leadership, has been celebrated widely and researched extensively. Burl said the “moral rehabilitation” that happened at Angola was a result of bring in a seminary program and allowing inmates to be trained to be ministers to their peers. The elements to the Prison Seminary Model include an accredited school with a degree program that encourages moral change and servanthood, private funding for the school’s services, and a cooperative department of corrections that will allow inmates to serve as agents of change through peer ministry.
PSF provides step-by-step assistance to the key players in any state seeking to implement the Prison Seminary Model. PSF hosts a professional symposium every year where prison seminary directors, professors, corrections professionals, government officials and interested attendees can learn from one another through forums and professional presentations. PSF commits to continued research efforts as well. In the Prison Seminary Model, the students must first become self-aware of default patterns within themselves that cause them to resort to destructive behavior. When their wounds are restored, they can become a conduit of healing and peace and reconciliation for their peers. The result is going to be safer prisons and fewer victims of violent crime.
Prison Seminaries Foundation was birthed out of former warden Burl Cain’s experience at Angola (Louisiana State Penitentiary).
Angola, once known as the bloodiest prison in America, is now one of the safest and most peaceful prisons in the country. This transformation came about with what is now known as the Prison Seminary Model. Moral rehabilitation is facilitated and encouraged through providing a robust theological education of inmates with long sentences in the form of a four-year accredited degree program, with the intent of using those inmate graduates as peer ministers within the prison system.
Burl desires to see every state prison system experience a cultural change and become a channel for moral rehabilitation. After helping numerous prison seminaries start up while serving as the Angola warden, he retired in 2016 and launched PSF in order to dedicate concentrated time and resources to prison seminaries.
PSF exists to create transformational opportunities in cooperation with state departments of corrections (DOCs) and higher-education institutions that support the moral rehabilitation of every inmate. We accomplish this mission by providing:
- Step-by-step assistance and ongoing support of Prison Seminary Model program implementations
- Education and consulting services
- Accountability and continued research in the areas of moral rehabilitation and the Prison Seminary Model; and its impact on prison systems in the United States and other countries.