A Chicago woman’s 396th time being behind bars was finally enough for her to decide to turn her life around.
Shermain Miles, 52, has been arrested 396 times since 1978 for different reasons including disorderly conduct, theft and attacking a City Council member.
A judge sentenced her to time in jail in June after she agreed to get mental health and substance abuse treatment, reports WLS-TV. Upon her release Monday from the Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln, Miles decided enough was enough.
“I’m really not that bad a person,” she said. “It was the alcohol I was drinking that turned me into a monster.”
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Miles’ alcohol abuse often led to violent outbursts or her lying drunk on a sidewalk in Edgewater.
“I’m just not going to go back around there,” she added. “I can love [my friends] from a distance. Anybody that’s drugging, I can’t be around.”
Adam Monreal, chair of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, has met with Miles on at least six different occasions to see how Miles can break her cycle of bad behavior.
“Life is a continuing battle,” he said. “Hopefully, she’s seen the light and is tired of being incarcerated… She’s indicated she’s willing to change her behavior.”
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Tom Shaer, a Department of Corrections spokesman for the Logan Correctional Center, said Miles was a good prisoner and broke no rules.
Miles even has the support of the City Council member who she attacked August 2012.
“You cannot hang around the same places, with the same people, doing the same thing – that will trigger a relapse,” Ald. James Cappleman said.
Miles was headed Monday to a residential home for ex-inmates.
Sources: WLS-TV, Chicago Sun-Times