Heather Stephens – Goodhue County jail administrator – never thought she would be in her current profession; she originally had her sights on law school.

“I got into this profession by accident,” Stephens said. “I [was] set on going to law school, but I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t graduate from college with student debt.”

When Stephens ran out of money while studying near St. Cloud, she wanted a job and she wanted one fast.

“I was looking for a paid internship and stumbled upon a job as a detention deputy in Hennepin County,” she said.

While in the internship, she found a passion for meeting new people and helping others.

“The rest is history, she said. “I never went to law school.”

Stephens went on to work in Hennepin County for 21 years. She later relocated to Mille Lacs County for three years, serving as the assistant jail administrator.

In 2021, Stephens moved to Red Wing to assume her current role as Goodhue County’s jail administrator.

 “I was looking to relocate to the south metro when this position opened up, but it was a little farther south than I was looking for,” Stephens said. “However, after visiting the area and meeting with Sheriff Marty Kelly, I knew this was the right move.”

Now no two days are the same for Stephens as she works on policies, budgets, staff interviews and more.

“I enjoy meeting new people,” she said. “After spending so much time in the big city where things are impersonal and distant, I really enjoy the smaller community feel where everybody feels like family.”

As the weather gets warmer, Stephens is excited for sheriff-sponsored events in the outdoors.

“[We have the] Sheriff’s Office Open House on June 9, and Bobbers and Badges youth fishing event on June 24,” she said.

Stephens encourages anyone interested in attending to contact Jennifer Hofschulte by email at jenny.hofschulte@co.goodhue.mn.us.

Fast fave

Activities: “I like to hunt, fish, camp, garden, [hike], ATV, snowmobile, ride my motorcycle and trap shoot competitively.  I also volunteer with the DNR as a trail ambassador doing trail monitoring and youth ATV safety training.”

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