Once someone is found guilty of a crime and sentenced to more to more than a year in jail, that person is transferred to one of the states' 66 facilities. These prisons are part to the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Data Inventory

The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) allows you to search by last name, birth date, or inmate number to locate information regarding the status of a single inmate; this data is reported below.

Open Data

  • Physical Profile
  • Date of Birth
  • Weight
  • Hair
  • Sex
  • Height
  • Race
  • Eyes
  • Mars, Scars, & Tattoos
  • Admission / Release / Discharge Info
  • Admission Date
  • Projected Release Date
  • Last Paroled Date
  • Projected Discharge Date
  • Sentencing Information (this is listed for every conviction the individual has)
  • Mittimus (Case Number)
  • Class
  • Count
  • Offense
  • Custody Date
  • Sentence
  • County
  • Sentence Discharged

FOIA Accessible Data

It is unclear to what extent IDOC is amenable to a FOI request. The Chicago Justice Project has filed a minimal request with them to see what kinds of data fields they collect, but they have not responded.

Unavailable Data

There is likely some prison data that would be unavailable, even from a FOIA request. The unavailable jail data might serve as a good reference point for understanding what kinds of fields are not accessible from a correctional institution.

How to Access the Data

The "Open Data" below is available through single inmate search on the IDOC website. There is no bulk data made available. It is unclear what more data is collected.

It's also unclear what data is available through Illinois' Freedom of Information Act. Requesting more data from the Illinois Department of Corrections is still possible, though, by filing 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

Oregon, USA

The state of Oregon makes a very large amount of data about their prison available through their data portal. This includes forecasts of prison populations, census of current prison populations by institutions, and admissions data. The amount and quality of the data definitely makes Oregon the national standard for transparency in correctional data.

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.