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Southern Spaces
A journal about real and imagined spaces and places of the US South and their global connections

Resegregated Spaces: The Schools-to-Prisons Pipeline

Atlanta, Georgia
Published June 24, 2005


After the long years of segregated and inferior "colored" schools, followed by limited desegregation during the 1970s, resegregation is taking place in our public schools, and not only in the South. Increasingly, the failing school systems are feeding young men and women of color into the jails and prisons of the United States in a phenomenon known as the "schools-to-prisons pipeline."


About the Speaker

Born in 1933 to Irish immigrant parents, Constance Curry grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina. She graduated from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, where she was president of the student body, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and an active member of the National Student Association. After studying in France (1955-1956) as a Fulbright scholar and doing graduate work at Columbia University she was named National Field Representative, Collegiate Council for the United Nations, New York. She returned to Atlanta in 1960 to work as Director of the Southern Student Human Relations Project of the US National Student Association. She served as an advisor on the executive committee of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and from 1964 to 1975, worked as a field representative for the American Friends Service Committee on issues of voter registration, school desegregation, and economic development in the US South. She was Director of the Office of Human Services for the City of Atlanta from 1975 to 1990, and earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Woodrow Wilson College of Law in Atlanta, GA in 1984.

Constance Curry is the author of Silver Rights (1995) which won a Lillian Smith Book Award. Other publications co-authored or edited by Curry include The Fire Ever Burning (2000, with Aaron Henry); Deep in Our Hearts: Nine White Women in the Freedom Movement (2000); Captive Lives (2000); a special issue of the journal Southern Changes focusing upon prisons and prisoners; and Mississippi Harmony: Memoirs of a Freedom Fighter (2002, with Winson Hudson). Curry is also the producer/researcher for the documentary film The Intolerable Burden (2003), about the failure of public education and the fast-track to prison, particularly for young black men. Curry is a Fellow at the Institute for Women's Studies, Emory University.