Margaret Taylor Curry was a prison reformer before becoming Colorado’s first adult female parole officer in 1952. She served as a crucial link between women prisoners and the outside world. Curry’s childhood in rural Colorado during the Dust Bowl and the Depression, her social work experience, and her education in music and social studies combined to help her fight for equal rights for prisoners. Previously, the only activity women prisoners had was to wash and iron clothes for male prisoners. Her efforts resulted in the first rehabilitation, self-improvement, and education programs for female inmates. Known for her hard work and fierce dedication to her average caseload of 42 women, Curry often came to a woman’s rescue, helped her obtain suitable civilian clothing, find employment, and fit back into society.
At the age of 43, Curry enrolled in a master’s degree program at the University of Denver in 1941. After scoring the highest grade on the Civil Service exam for Colorado’s new Parole Department, she still unable to get a job. Hiring preference was given to military veterans. Finally, she became Colorado’s first female parole officer in 1952.