Jessica Proctor is on parole. She just tested positive for marijuana. Her parole officer could send her back to prison — but will she?
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Some states are giving parole officers the discretion to dole out a second chance after relatively minor infractions, rather than automatically sending people who violate their parole restrictions back behind bars.
“If I was to lock up everyone that’s run into Jessica’s situation,” says Officer Katherine Montoya, “I wouldn’t have a caseload.”
Stream “Life on Parole” and watch Proctor’s story unfold in full at pbs.org/frontline/life-on-parole, and read The New York Times’ related reporting at nytimes.com/parole. The documentary follows Proctor and three other former prisoners in Connecticut as they navigate the challenges of more than a year on parole — from finding work, to staying sober, to parenting — while under intense supervision from the state.
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FRONTLINE is made possible by PBS and CPB. Major support is provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Additional support is provided by Ford Foundation, the Park Foundation, the John and Helen Glessner Family Trust, the Wyncote Foundation and Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation. Additional funding for “Life on Parole” is provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.