A person can get to jail two different ways. First, police officers file misdemeanor charges to court - even if the case ends up being tossed out of court by the judge. Inmates who can't afford bond or are not granted bond have to wait for their court hearing in jail. Second, the state's attorney's office reviews the evidence for a felony case and agrees to file changes.

Inmates who can't afford bond or are not granted bond have to wait for their court hearing in jail. Other inmates include anyone who has ben sentenced to less than a year in jail.

Data Inventory

The data inventory is a list of the information that's collected by the Chicago Police Department for anyone who's arrested. The inventory is divided into three categories:

  1. Data readily available,
  2. Data available through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, and
  3. Data that is collected but not available.

Open Data

There is none.

FOIA Accessible Data

  • Name of arrestee
  • Home address of arrestee
  • Race of arrestee
  • Age of arrestee
  • Gender of arrestee (observed)
  • Ethnicity of arrestee
  • IUCR of crime type
  • Description of ICUR type

Unavailable Data

  • Home address of arrestee

How to Access Arrest Data in Chicago

To access data from the Chicago Police Department you need to file a request for data under Illinois' Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). You will need to send an email including: (1) your name and contact information, along with (2) a description of the records you are requesting. Please try to be reasonably specific for the data you are looking for so that they can more easily process your request.

National Models for Releasing Justice Data

Henrico County (Virginia)

Henrico County makes arrest data available. This is the only source we have located that makes this data available online; however, while this data is searchable online by charge, you cannot download the data in bulk.

Other Models

This project is part of the Smart Chicago Collaborative's Civic Works Project, a program funded by the Knight Foundation and the Chicago Community Trust to spur support civic innovation in Chicago.

Our partners for this project are Chicago Justice Project, a nonprofit research organization, and FreeGeek Chicago's Supreme Chi-Town Coding Crew (SC3). You can find the code backing this website on Github. We used the Chicago Tribune's Tarbell content management system to build our site. Content and code is under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Licence.