IT TOOK 396 TIMES TO SAY HER LAST TIME BEHIND BARS

Chicago woman vows to change life around after 396th arrest

Shermain Miles, 52 has been arrested numerous times over the past 35 years. After her latest release from prison — where she served almost a year for attacking a city alderman — but she says she is quitting drinking and doing drugs and is hoping to turn her life around.

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A Chicago woman who has been arrested nearly 400 times said her last time behind bars was enough to make her consider a different way to live.

Shermain Miles, 52 — who has been arrested 396 times since 1978 — told the Chicago Sun-Times that she’s not returning to the company of her old friends after she was released Monday from a local prison, where she served almost a year for assaulting a city alderman.

She said she can’t afford to be around anyone who is drinking or doing drugs — two things she admits caused a lot of her problems with the law.

Miles said she is not a bad person, but that alcohol had turned her ‘into a monster.’

Miles said she is not a bad person, but that alcohol had turned her ‘into a monster.’

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“I’m just not going to go back around there,” she told the newspaper aboard an Amtrak train that she rode away from the Illinois Department of Corrections facility where she served her time.

“I can love (my friends) from a distance,” she said. “Anybody that’s drugging, I can’t be around.”

Shermain Miles, 52, has been arrested 396 times since 1978.

Shermain Miles, 52, has been arrested 396 times since 1978.

Miles said she hoped people could forgive her past as she vowed to make a better future.

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“I’m really not that bad a person,” she told the newspaper. “It was the alcohol I was drinking that turned me into a monster.”

Miles’ arrests range from disorderly conduct and theft to attacking a city alderman.
Cook County Sheriff’s Office

Miles’ arrests range from disorderly conduct and theft to attacking a city alderman.

A spokesman for the state’s Department of Correction said Miles was well-behaved during her most recent stint for the 2012 attack against Ald. James Cappleman of the city’s 46th Ward.

The lawmaker said he hopes Miles — who was headed to a residential home for ex-inmates — can keep on the right path.

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“You cannot hang around the same places, with the same people doing the same thing,” Cappleman told the Chicago Sun-Times. “That will trigger a relapse.”

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