April 22, 2013

CHICAGOLAND: Arrested 396 times, woman knows how to work the system. “Rolon recognized Shermain Miles because he’s seen her more times than he can count — drunk, half-naked, cursing and, on one occasion, lunging at another woman with a dinner fork. Since 1978, Chicago Police alone have arrested Miles 396 times, mostly on the North Side — under at least 83 different aliases. Those arrests include 92 for theft, 65 for disorderly conduct, 59 for prostitution-related crimes and five for robbery or attempted robbery. The frustrating truth: The system — strapped by overcrowded prisons and cuts to mental health funding — hasn’t been able to save Miles from herself or to help the communities she menaces. Nothing has worked. Not jail. Not prison. Not countless psychological exams for the woman described as being ‘acutely psychotic.’”

The perils of deinstitutionalization. Might as well give Clayton Cramer a plug here.