Chicago woman arrested 396 times--costs about $1 million
Shermain Miles was arrested recently in Chicago for the 396th time, according to The Christian Science Monitor. She accepted a plea deal after pleading guilty to charges she attacked a city alderman. She also pleaded guilty to trespassing and public drinking in separate cases.
Chicago Police say it takes two officers at least an hour and a half to make a misdemeanor arrest—or three police hours total. Every arrest turns into a criminal case in the Cook County court system, which isn't cheap, according to The Sun-Times Reader.
It costs about $2,500 just to open a case, according to the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice, a legal research organization. That includes the expense of court clerks, judges, and running the system.
Miles' arrests, not her trials, incarcerations, treatment or probation violations, just her arrests cost Chicago taxpayers about $1 million. The costs of arrest are only a fraction of the public dollars spent on Miles.
In this case, a judge sentenced her to time served in all three cases because Ms. Miles agreed to undergo a mental-health evaluation and get follow-up treatment, the Associated Press reports.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that: "Since 1978, Chicago Police alone have arrested Miles 396 time ... under at least 83 different aliases. Those arrests include 92 times for theft, 65 for disorderly conduct, 59 for prostitution-related crimes and five for robbery or attempted robbery."
Miles is homeless and has been in the Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln, Ill., since December, according to the Associated Press. She had been released in April 2011 after serving three years for an armed robbery conviction. But multiple arrests while on parole prompted her return to prison.
In the majority of those cases, Miles is arrested, released and never convicted, according to the Sun-Times. The Cook County state’s attorney’s office counts 73 convictions in all. Yet, Miles has cost Chicago millions and the amount is still climbing.
An analysis of crime and punishment from the perspective of a former prosecutor and current criminal justice practitioner.
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