Arrested 396 times: Chicago woman has done it, using 83 aliases

Arrested 396 times by the Chicago Police, Shermain Miles accepted a plea deal Monday after pleading guilty to charges she attacked a city alderman.

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    Shermain Miles of Chicago, who is incarcerated at the Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln, Ill., has been arrested 396 times in the past 35 years. She has been ordered to get mental-health and substance-abuse treatment in a deal with prosecutors.
    Illinois Department of Corrections/AP
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Is it possible to get arrested 396 times?

A Chicago woman has done it.

Shermain Miles accepted a plea deal Monday after pleading guilty to charges she attacked a city alderman. She also pleaded guilty to trespassing and public drinking in separate cases. 

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A judge sentenced her to time served in all three cases because Ms. Miles agreed to undergo a mental-health evaluation and get follow-up treatment, the Associated Press reports.

“All of us are reaching out to you and offering you, maybe for the first time in your life, a hand, OK?” Judge Peggy Chiampas told Miles, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “But you’ve got to reach out and grab all of our hands as well.”

Miles thanked the judge and told her “I’m not that person.” 

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that: "Since 1978, Chicago Police alone have arrested Miles 396 time ... under at least 83 different aliases. Those arrests include 92 times for theft, 65 for disorderly conduct, 59 for prostitution-related crimes and five for robbery or attempted robbery."

Miles is homeless and has been in the Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln, Ill., since December, according to the Associated Press. She had been released in April 2011 after serving three years for an armed robbery conviction. But multiple arrests while on parole prompted her return to prison.

In the majority of those cases, Miles is arrested, released and never convicted, according to the Sun-Times. The Cook County state’s attorney’s office counts 73 convictions in all.

“We also need her to come to court,” Fabio Valentini, chief of Cook County’s Criminal Prosecutions Bureau told the Sun-Times. “You can see that in a great many cases, she fails to appear in court.”


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