Wednesday, April 24, 2013

"I'm Gonna Change" After 396 Arrests

One of many, many, many Miles/Boone
mugshots the Sun-Times has on its site
Charmaine Boone/Shermain Miles, Uptown's one-percenter, appeared before the parole board Tuesday regarding her 396th arrest, and she may be released to a community-based program for those with underlying mental health issues.  Or she may stay in prison until November for her latest parole violation.

At her hearing on Tuesday, she told the Parole Board that she was a changed person: a role model for young female inmates, even.  She said that she's finally learned her lesson (after 35 years of arrests), and that she leads a prison Bible study.

According to the article in the Sun-Times, "Board Chairman Adam Monreal told Miles that he plans to talk to Paul Biebel Jr., the chief judge at the 26th and California courthouse, to see if Miles is eligible for a specialized mental health court that likely would require intense supervision — and possibly in a community setting."

Now, we can't comment on the state of her mental health.  We understand that Ms. Miles refused to submit to a court-requested BCX (Behavioral Clinical Exam) to determine her competence.  It would be irresponsible to bring up her current mental condition with nothing to base it on.

What we do notice are a couple red flags in the article that suggest Ms. Miles may not be the amenable, willing parolee that she promises to be:
  • When asked by one of the Board members why she hadn't been taking her meds prescribed for her previous diagnosed mental issues, "she said she would only take the right medication."
  • "The board asked Miles about Cappleman, and her compliant tone instantly changed. She denied laying a finger on the alderman, who has organized a campaign to make sure his ward’s notorious resident isn’t released without intense supervision.  “He lied on me and said I pushed him,” Miles snapped."  In reality, many people saw the altercation that day, including several readers of this blog, and as we understand it, as she was running towards Ald. Cappleman, Ms. Miles pushed or ran into another man, who fell against the alderman, causing him to fall into some bushes.
So, the decision about Ms. Miles's immediate future lies with the chief judge at 26th & California, to see if there's room in a program for people with her particular demons.

Well, what the hell.... why not?  God knows nothing else has changed her behavior.  Locking her up hasn't worked.  Living for long stretches in a transient shelter hasn't worked.  Nor has putting her in the care of Thresholds.  Or giving her medication, which she doesn't take because it's not the "right kind."  After 35 years, Ms. Miles is still committing crimes against businesses and residents; still returning to her turf (roughly Lakeview to Rogers Park) after each incarceration; and still gaming the system she knows so well.

In his letter to the Parole Board, Ald. Cappleman urged the Parole Board "to consider a highly structured environment that would not have her interacting with the general public."  The program the Parole Board suggests is described as one with "intense supervision."  Not quite the same thing.

We hope this program stops a 35-year run of predatory behavior and arrests.  But if it proves to be unsuccessful, we want to see Ms. Miles in an environment where she can no longer victimize this community.  It's up to the chief judge and the parole board now.  There are a lot of eyes watching to see what happens.

The Sun-Times article is here.

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