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Justice Divided

Justice Divided
Project website
Data processing, analysis and presentation, map visualization
Illinois Justice Project, Adler University, Project NIA
May 2017

An educational tool and data repository for promoting awareness of disproportionate minority contact, or the overrepresentation of black youth in the juvenile justice system.

More about this project

DataMade built Justice Divided in partnership with the Illinois Justice Project, Adler University, and Project NIA, with funding from the Polk Bros. Foundation.

Using public data, Justice Divided demonstrates that black youth in Chicago are disproportionately punished by the juvenile justice system, even for the same behaviors. Moreover, it shows that the disparity is not just a result of more arrests in high-crime neighborhoods and enumerates the ways in which any amount of justice involvement imposes barriers on youth that never go away.

Map shows variable arrest rate of black youth by Chicago police district

Justice Divided empowers youth by providing concrete actions they can take individually or collectively, as well as resources for securing legal aid, expunging their records, and getting involved in their communities. It also provides policy recommendations for system stakeholders.

Project NIA provided juvenile arrest data aggregated by police district, and Adler provided data on exits from Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice institutions to Cook County ZIP codes. DataMade obtained several years of individual-level juvenile arrest data by submitting a FOIA request to the Chicago Police Department. We also created demographic profiles for each police district using census_area, our open-source Python library for querying Census data using arbitrary geographic boundaries.

DataMade cleaned and documented all of the data behind Justice Divided. They are available for download as individual spreadsheets on the website or as a database with additional tables on GitHub.