Observers of the criminal legal system in the U.S. have increasingly looked beyond prisons to map the expansion and consequences of mass supervision, or the role of probation and parole in people’s lived experiences of correctional control. In this commentary, I reflect on the lessons learned from a decade of research on mass probation, focusing in particular on how drug testing helps us understand the risks and potential benefits of supervision. In light of the concerns about the harms of supervision, I argue that scholars and advocates should reconsider the fundamental purpose of probation and ask what it might look like to abolish supervision as we know it.

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