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Successive Corruption Scandal Rocks Mississippi Prison System

Burl Cain was commenting on the results of a second FBI corruption probe inside a 10-year period that ended in the ouster of 10 people, from senior officials to unpaid volunteers, some with criminal charges.

Carl Arnold had been with MDOC for 25 years, was a corrections commander and led the K-9 unit. He faces a charge of embezzlement, accused of stealing copper and stainless steel from MDOC.

Cain’s predecessor, Chris Epps, fell to the FBI’s first probe over six years ago for accepting $1.4 million in bribes.

Banned from the Rankin County prison are ousted security chief Dean Epps and Warden Wendell Banks. A director and associate warden were suspended without pay and a sixth employee resigned as the news broke.

Cain refused to comment on the reasons behind the firings, suspensions and resignations but did state, “As our investigation continues in conjunction with other agencies, we will announce [further criminal] charges at the appropriate time.”

Former prison security chief Matthew Naidow blamed extremely low salaries as a prime motivator for corruption at MDOC. Overall, “Mississippi is a hotbed of corrupt officials” he stated and indicated that gangs have a lot to do with what is, and has been, going on in the system.

An informant in the investigation, as reported by the Mississippi Center For Investigative Reporting on September 21, 2020, had pointed to MDOC’s print shop as a focal point. Prison contraband “comes in through the [print shop’s] front door,” the individual said. Continuing on, he compared MDOC security to “a sieve,” with high-proof alcohol, pot, meth and Xanax freely entering the print shop. 


Sources:, Mississippi Center For Investigative Reporting,

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