Arrested 396 Times In The Last 35 Years, Woman Sent For Mental Health Care

Arrested 396 times, Shermain Miles, 51, of Chicago may be about to finally retire from her life of crime after she accepted a plea deal which will send on a mental health care program to deal with her serial substance abuse.

Miles was held at Logan Correctional Center in Logan County, Illinois in December for her part in an armed robbery. She was released from the facility in April 2011 but, while on parole, re-offended and was arrested numerous times, prompting her return to prison.

One of Miles’s more recent arrests was following an alleged attack on Alderman James Cappleman last summer. Miles pleaded guilty in a Cook county court on Monday to the allegation as well as two other separate incidents she was accused of including public drinking and trespassing.

Having been arrested an astounding 396 times over the last 35 years, county court Judge Peggy Chiampas credited the repeat offender for time served after she agreed to the recommendation of the court that she undergo a mental health evaluation along with follow-up treatments.

Judge Chiampas addressed Miles following sentencing saying: “All of us are reaching out to you and offering you, maybe for the first time in your life, a hand, OK? But you’ve got to reach out and grab all of our hands as well”. Miles apologized for her behaviour to the Judge and said: “I just want to thank you. I’m not that person”.

The Huffington Post reported on Miles’s life of crime back in April, noting that she has been involved in a string of offences including possession of drugs, burglary and assault. Having been imprisoned at least ten times since 1978 and arrested 396 times, it is clear that prison hasn’t helped to rehabilitate Miles. It seems the court hopes that rehabilitation, in the form of mental health care, will be more effective.

If someone has been arrested 396 times and keeps re-offending, isn’t it clear that they need help in the form of mental health care? Should the courts stop putting repeat offenders back in prison and invest more in rehabilitating them via mental health programs?