Announcing the Chicago Youth Justice Data Project!

Want to know how many youth were arrested in Chicago in 2009?

Interested in learning about the racial breakdown of youth detained at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in 2009?

How many cases were diverted from juvenile court in 2008?

After over a year of struggle, I am pleased to introduce the Chicago Youth Justice Data Project. In our current economic, political and social climate, the adage “information is power” is even more true.

Our communities are disempowered when we are kept in the dark about how the state is intervening in our lives.  The Chicago Youth Justice Data Project brings the most timely & relevant information about juvenile justice & youth criminalization to community members.  It is critical that citizens be equipped with data in order to effectively advocate for reforms.  Relevant data increases our credibility and authority.  Yet it is difficult to access and especially in one place. I hope that the Chicago Youth Justice Data Project remedies this issue.

As a long-time organizer and activist, I care about data because I know that when properly deployed it can help to transform the systematic ways in which marginalized communities are kept out of the policy-making and decision-making processes.

We hope to update the website twice a year (provided we can raise the funds to do so).   This blog will provide us with a low-cost opportunity to offer the most timely data available.  It is a supplement to the website.

Special thanks to designer and illustrator Lester Rojas for collaborating with me to bring my vision to fruition.  Lester put in countless hours of his time to complete this project.  Thank you Lester!

Thanks also to the Steans Family Foundation for their generous support.   Without it, this project would not have been possible.

I am very interested in keeping this site up to date so please send along any new data that you come across related to juvenile justice in Chicago and Illinois.  If you would like to provide any feedback on the site, please contact me at

In Peace,

Mariame Kaba

Founder and Director, Project NIA


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