Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office FOIA – Felony Prosecutions

This is CJP’s 3rd request to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office under Illinois’ Freedom of Information Act in our 2015 FOIA Campaign.

In this request submitted via email on Thursday May 28th we requested the following records be provided to CJP in digital format:

Please provide CJP all the data created/stored/retained by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office related to felony prosecutions for the year 2013 for all closed cases. Please make sure the data is de-identified – this means we do not want you to release the identifies of any any witnesses, victims, or offenders. We do however want you to provide the identifies  of prosecutors involved in the cases as they are government employees.

______________________________

DENIED!

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office (SAO) denials of FOIA is centrally focused on two exemptions:

(you can read the SAO’s denial for yourself by downloading the document below)

  1. Overly burdensome. They cite the fact that they would have to hand count their cases to determine which were opened in 2013.
  2. When they emailed CJP about if we were requesting individual prosecutor names to be included in the data we were seeking I said yes. The SAO then decided our FOIA was more like an interrogatory rather than a FOIA.

It is clear from these denials the SAO has absolutely no intention of ever granting our FOIAs and would bend and stretch the laws regarding FOIA to allow them to deny our requests.

Tracy has nearly two decades of experience researching and working within criminal justice systems. When Tracy began pursuing a career dedicate to system reform, he found that no single organization existed to promote evidence-based discussions among law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Recognizing that citizens in Chicago deserved the right to demand transparency in their criminal justice system, Siska established the Chicago Justice Project. He received his Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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