Data Transparency

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, the second-largest prosecutor’s office in the country, prosecutes tens of thousands of criminal cases every year across more than 100 law enforcement jurisdictions in service of the five million residents of Cook County. Despite a clear vested interest, the public has not historically had access to meaningful information about the details and outcomes of this hugely consequential work.

When she took office in December 2016, State’s Attorney Foxx affirmed her commitment to changing that dynamic: Both the SAO’s work and public conversations about criminal justice can only be credible and effective when informed by data rather than anecdotes.

Before the end of her first year in office, the SAO released a Baseline Data Report — the first of its kind issued by the Office — offering an overview of 2016 criminal prosecutions data in Cook County, along with a promise to issue similar reports annually. On February 13, 2018, the SAO published the 2017 Data Report. (A revised second edition of the inaugural Data Report was later released to account for improved 2016 data collection following its original publication.)

Increased transparency with the public depends on robust data practices and clear organizational knowledge within the SAO, and the SAO’s first-ever Chief Data Officer, Matthew Saniie, joined the Office in 2017. In addition to the annual Data Reports, he is responsible for leading the SAO’s ongoing effort to develop these practices and knowledge.

Anyone interested in examining data sets can view and download them from the Cook County data portal.

Inquiries about data transparency at the SAO can be directed to SAOData@cookcountyil.gov.