In Memoriam Agnes Furey
By Dr. Sandra Pavelka
Agnes Furey, a soft spoken and mighty advocate for restorative justice, peace and forgiveness, passed away on Sunday, August 22, 2021, at the age of 84. Agnes led a purpose-driven life guided by faith and grace. As a friend, colleague and fellow restorative justice advocate, Agnes will be truly missed. Her legacy will live on with her impactful work in her Tallahassee community, the State of Florida, and nationally.
In 1998, her daughter and grandson were murdered by her daughter’s boyfriend, who was later sentenced to life in prison for their deaths. As a survivor, Agnes became involved with The Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ) Project, a national demonstration project funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, US Department of Justice, at Florida Atlantic University in her home state. Agnes wanted to turn her tragedy into a path of forgiveness and healing based on restorative justice. Through a series of letters, discussions, reflections and poems, Agnes and her daughter’s boyfriend, co-authored Wildfires in the Median.
She founded Achieve Higher Ground, a national network, including victim offender dialogue, victims’ meetings, and a comprehensive reentry program for formerly incarcerated persons reintegrating into the community. Recently she dedicated AHGnes House, a transitional residence for those reentering the community, in Tallahassee, Florida.
Rest easy, dear Agnes.