Visitation will be Thursday, Oct. 10 from 5-8 p.m. at Moore Funeral Home in Hattiesburg for Dr. Don Cabana, a former professor of criminal justice at The University of Southern Mississippi and superintendent of the Mississippi State Penitentiary, who died Monday, Oct. 7 at Wesley Medical Center in Hattiesburg. He was 67.
Funeral Services will be at 1:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 11 at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Hattiesburg, followed by burial in Highland Cemetery.
A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Cabana rose from instructor in 1992 to associate professor and chairman of the Southern Miss Department of Criminal Justice in 2004. He taught classes at the university’s campuses in Hattiesburg and on the Gulf Coast, and also served on the Faculty Senate, including as president. He later began the criminal justice program at William Carey University.
In his work in corrections, Cabana also served as superintendent of the South Mississippi Correctional Institution and warden for the Harrison County Adult Detention Center. His experiences with death row inmates at the Mississippi State Penitentiary are recounted in his book “Death at Midnight: The Confession of an Executioner.”
“Don was a walking encyclopedia on corrections,” said Dr. Tom Panko, a colleague of Cabana’s in the School of Criminal Justice. “He knew the system from the inside out. He had a wealth of stories about life inside the (prison) walls and was a master storyteller. His legacy is large and he will be dearly missed.”
Dr. Lisa Nored, professor and director of the School of Criminal Justice, said Cabana was “a great mentor and friend” whose work in the field of criminal justice helped his students better understand our correctional system. “Students, faculty and staff who had the privilege to know him loved him,” Nored said.
Cabana is survived by his wife, Miriam; sons, Scott Cabana, Ashley Cabana and Christopher Cabana; three daughters, Michelle Hillman, Angela Cabana-Allseitz and Kristin Fitzgerald; a brother, Albert Cabana, and six grandchildren.