Creating Restoration and Peace

Garolyn Claudia Cornelius Hector is an experienced counselor, educator, and civic employee in various roles of government in Antigua and Barbuda. Amid her career in education and criminal justice, she discovered restorative practices while managing a residential rehabilitation center for juveniles. Since earning her Master of Science in Restorative Practices, Garolyn serves as a senior probation officer and sits on the local coordinating committee for juvenile justice reform in her community. She further promotes restorative practices through training and consulting with United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

Q: What brought you to the IIRP?

A: I attended the IIRP World Conference in 2012 and also had the opportunity to see restorative practices in action at some group homes and secure facilities for youth in Pennsylvania and New York. The concept made a lot of sense; however, I quickly realized the restorative framework is not just a concept to deal with troubled teens. Rather, it is a concept that can be applied to life and people in general. We all go through life with many challenges that may need restoration to find peace, and what better way to do so than using the concepts taught in restorative practices?

Q: Please tell us about your restorative work now and what makes you passionate about it.

A: I am currently at the beginning of my restorative practices coaching journey, but my work is being recognized slowly as the testimonials continue to come in. I work with juveniles who are in conflict with the law. For some cases, it is suggested by the court for both parties, victim and perpetrator, to be involved in restorative practices. These sessions have proven to shed light on many issues that caused the harmful behaviors. Through these sessions, many have recognized the need to be open, honest, and forgiving for emotional healing to begin. It has been great as I continue to work and continue to advocate for restorative practices to play a greater role in our justice system.

Q. What would you like to see in this restorative work in the future?

A: Personally, I would like for restorative practices to expand to all countries in the world and be used as the first measure of correction in all justice systems. We cannot continue to use violence and hurt as a means of correcting harmful behavior and hoping life is manageable by all.