Lieutenant Colonel John Nurse is the Superintendent of Prisons of the Barbados Prison Service and has been in this post since 2 October 2001. Colonel Nurse was a member of the Barbados Defence Force and was seconded to the Prison Service to oversee the transition of change within the Service. He was later appointed the Superintendent of Prisons in December 2007. Colonel Nurse holds a B.Sc. (Hons) in Public Sector Management from the University of the West Indies, is a graduate of the Canadian Forces Land Staff College at Fort Frontenac, Kingston, Ontario Canada and is a Certified Jail Officer under the American Jails Association.
Since his appointment and as part of the island’s penal reform process, Colonel Nurse has modernized the structure and management systems of the Barbados Prison Service, overseen and initiated a prisoner classification system, re-engineered and strengthened the rehabilitation programs of the prisons, proposed the need for psychological testing and profiling of all inmates in prison, developed a position paper on a new Correctional Service for Barbados, developed a draft plan for the introduction of a parole system, improved the prison medical services to include arrangements for the treatment of asthma, ECG testing and computerization of medical records, voluntary counseling, testing and treatment of those with HIV/Aids, and introduced a multi-faith approach to religious teachings within the Prison with the inclusion of Muslim and Rastafarianism ministries
During his tenure, Colonel Nurse has forged closer relationships with regional and international correctional agencies and was inaugural Chairman of the Association of Caribbean Head of Prisons and Correctional Services. He is now completing his third term as President of the Association of Caribbean Heads of Prisons and Correctional Service. Having completed two terms as a Board Member of the International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA), he is now a Board member of the ICPA North America (ICPA-NA). Colonel Nurse also serves as a member of the CARICOM Standing Committee of Heads of Corrections and Prison Service.
Colonel Nurse remains committed to national and regional prisons and corrections development. Over the last nineteen years he has sought to introduce systems to the Barbados Prison Service which support modern theses in prison and correctional management, emphasizing humane and decent conditions for prisoners, crafted reintegration strategies and vibrant interagency collaboration supporting tried and tested strategies at humanizing the approach to offender care and treatment as well as impactful and dynamic staff training and development.