The Circuit

Explore nearly two decades of Cook County court data

The Circuit, our project with the Better Government Association and DataMade, examines Cook County criminal court data from over 3 million cases between 2000 and 2018. Now you can view the charges in our data broken down by race, gender, and ethnicity.

3 challenges and opportunities for the new Cook County public defender

A fair and equitable justice system depends on the public defenders whose job it is to represent those people who cannot afford a lawyer. Public defense work is civil rights work. It is the public defender who raises questions about interrogation methods, unlawful police stops, and excessive bail. It is also racial justice work. Nowhere is racial injustice more apparent than in the impact our criminal laws have had on people of color, particularly Black people.