October 24, 2017


The Chicago Justice Project (CJP) is looking to engage community leaders, subject matter experts, researchers, and criminal justice officials to assist us in our efforts to turn the data we opened from local justice system agencies in to empowering information for Chicago’s diverse communities & justice system stakeholders. We are seeking to create a number of advisory boards each focused on a specific topic area within the overall justice system sphere. We believe it is vitally important to hear these voices from the start of our process of designing the websites so their input can be included on the ground floor.

What Have We Opened?

Quite a bit actually.

  • 7 years (May 2010 – June 2017) of felony case level prosecution data, including felony review, from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office
  • 4 years (soon to be over 5) of call level police call for service data from the Office of Emergency Management & Communications.
  • 37 years of case level felony court data from the Circuit Court of Cook County Criminal Court. We are in the process of raising the $25,000 to pay the clerk to de-identify the data.

Add to this mix the crime incident data from the Chicago Police Department that is currently available through the City’s portal, and the depth and richness of this data is immense. We have planned litigation against the CPD in early 2018 to open demographic data related to crime incidents and arrest data. Also, we have our Justice Media Project data that tracks reporting on crime and violence in Chicago and compares that reporting to how crime and violence actually occurs in our city.

The Challenge We Face

Make no mistake that there still exists a huge disparity between those that can easily understand the results sophisticated data analysis and those that cannot. Research from Harvard University has demonstrated convincingly that most transparency projects fail because the results of their analysis cannot be understood by their audiences. Now imagine how much harder the task at hand is when we are talking about taking data from four very large criminal justice institutions, some of the largest in the nation, and not only connecting the data across agencies, but finding a way for our audiences to understand the results of what will be an incredibly sophisticated analysis. Our task at hand is a tough one. So much so that nobody has ever done anything like this before. We think with our combined efforts we are up to the task.


If you want to apply to be on one of our advisory board please fill out the form below and we will be in touch soon.