CPD Domestic Violence Database

On February 17, 2017 the Chicago Justice Project filed the following FOIA request with the Chicago Police Department: Please provide the following records in digital format under Illinois’ Freedom of Information Act: A.  Please provide the database records related to domestic violence that were provide to ABC Chicago News and are reported on in this[…]

police calls for service

FOIA CPD Police Calls for Service Data

On January 6, 2017 we filled the following FOIA request with the Chicago Police Department seeking records regarding their storage of police call for service data created by the Office of Emergency Management & Communications.   Please provide the following records in digital format where possible: A. Copy of data dictionary / code book from[…]

Garry Mccarthy

Why we are suing the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office

Today, the Chicago Justice Project—a 9-year-old nonprofit with the mission of increasing transparency in Chicago and Cook County justice systems—filed a complaint in Cook County Circuit Court (2016-01-29 Chicago Justice Project_s First Amended Complaint) against Anita Alvarez and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office for repeatedly refusing to fulfill their obligations under the Illinois Freedom[…]

Rollbacks of Public Access Law Becoming Law

 HB 5154 On April 29th the Illinois Senate passed HB 5154 and sent it to the Governor for his signature.  HB 5154 prohibits public access to performance evaluations of all public employees.  This is the second bill that has passed the Illinois General Assembly in 2010 that rolls back gains made in the rewrite of[…]


January Round-Up

I believe Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis when he stated in the Sun-Times that the motivation behind dropping the test is about racial disparities involved in outcomes.  What I think people are failing to connect with this proposal is the really low number of officers hired over the last couple of years.  Exact figures are[…]

Illinois Municipal League

The Illinois Municipal League and Their Bad Argument Against a Weak FOIA Law

This week both the Tribune and Sun Times ran editorials urging Governor Quinn to sign Illinois Senate Bill 189.  This bill is the new version of the Freedom of Information Act that was authored primarily by Attorney General Lisa Madigan.  This bill is far from one that could be considered representative of the best practices[…]

Freedom of Information Act

Seven Attributes of a 21st Century Freedom of Information Law

The Illinois Freedom of Information Act is woefully outdated and geared towards empowering bureaucrats to withhold information from the public. The State legislature created the law as a mechanism to provide citizens with access to information about how the government serves the public. In practice, the Act has provided little access as government agencies have[…]