From a Court Advocate:
"Today was a big court date for Shermain Miles, a/k/a Charmaine Boone, a/k/a '396 arrests.' She appeared in Branch 46 at 26th & California before Judge Peggy Chiampas, a very tough lady who doesn't put up with any crap.
There were 3 court advocates from the 19th District and 2 from the 20th District and Dana from Alderman Cappleman's Office. We couldn't believe who else showed up! The Chairman of the Prison Review Board for the State of Illinois, Adam Monreal. And at least 1 reporter. When you get near 400 arrests and start battering elected officials, you get the attention of the Big Wigs.
The court date was ostensibly to sentence Shermain for 4 crimes she's committed while on parole for armed robbery-----battery on the Alderman, trespassing on CTA property in Edgewater, public drinking, and assault on someone else, who didn't show up. Instead, a plea deal was worked out-----but don't groan! It's a good one! The most time she would have served under those 4 charges was 364 days and she's served 291 of them. If no deal had been worked out, she coulda/woulda been back on the streets of Uptown in 3 months.
So the deal is, she agreed to plead guilty to those charges and got 'time served.' She agreed to be part of an intensive program at Lincoln/Logan Correctional Center for prisoners with mental health and substance abuse issues. She will take part in that program for a minimum of 1 year, maybe longer, depending on how it goes and if she's showing progress. She will remain under the jurisdiction of Judge Chiampas and the Cook County system although she will be doing the program near Springfield.
The judge was very stern with her and said that it was clear that alcohol and going back time and again to life on the streets were her problems. She said the community and Shermain herself didn't deserve the abuse Shermain had dealt out over her many years of arrests. Judge Chiampas also acknowledged how many people had showed up in court because they felt strongly about her case. She told Shermain it was a privilege-----not a right-----to take part in the program.
Shermain, when asked if she had anything to say, apologized to the judge and the community. She sounded sincere. Who knows, she may have been. I heard afterward that it took lot of people and a lot of time to get this program worked out for her. The North Side Community Justice Center really busted their hump getting this case together. I hope Shermain gets the help she needs, but I am happiest she'll work on her problems away from 'slippery places' and away from society at large. Uptown and Edgewater will be better for it."
UU Note: In his letter to the Prisoner Review Board, and the ensuing community letter-writing campaign, Ald. Cappleman wrote: "I strongly encourage the Prisoner Review Board to consider a highly structured environment that would not have her interacting with the general public." This seems to fit the bill.
Update: The Sun-Times article is here: "Woman arrested 396 times goes to mental health and substance abuse program."