- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) - A north Alabama woman with a past drug arrest is working as a case manager for an alternative sentencing program even though the county has a policy against hiring people with drugs in their past.

The Decatur Daily (https://bit.ly/1CmkaZ0 ) reported Tuesday that Brandy L. Steele of Hartselle is working with the Morgan County Community Corrections office years after her 2008 arrest on a charge of possessing methamphetamine.

Steele, 39, was found with two small bags of meth and other drug paraphernalia inside her home, but the charge was dismissed after she completed a drug court. The county has a policy against hiring employees with a drug history.

Steele declined comment on her corrections office work, but supervisor Kim Thurston said she has no regrets about hiring Steele.

Thurston said Steele is the second person with a drug history she has hired. The other, a man who has since left the corrections office, runs a sobriety home in Hartselle.

“We’re about second chances,” Thurston said. “We’re about changing people’s lives.”

Steele was promoted last year to a new corrections officer position after working as a part-time lab technician.

Morgan County Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson wrote a letter of recommendation for Steele. He said employees like Steele bring insight to the program.

“She understands what people on the other side go through,” Thompson said. “That’s invaluable to me.”

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Information from: The Decatur Daily, https://www.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/index.shtml

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