Tennessee housewife Marie Ragghianti has a child with serious health problems and is married to an abusive husband. Resolute about improving her life, Marie leaves her husband and returns to school, eventually getting her college degree and getting a job with the Tennessee State Government. After years of hard work, she becomes the head of the state's parole board. In her new position she becomes aware of corruption that reaches to the highest offices, including the governor. Determined to clean up her department, Marie starts to week out the graft she has discovered, only to be discredited in the press by some of the governor's powerful friends.