The Circuit

An award-winning Chicago local news collaboration investigating 19 years of the Cook County courts

A gif of charts from The Circuit

The Circuit is a collaboration between the Better Government Association, The Chicago Reporter, Injustice Watch, and DataMade to investigate and reveal how Cook Countyโ€™s courts work and how they fail.

In my time at DataMade I built an interactive database to let readers explore the 3 million cases and 5.5 million charges in our data set. This visualization is online as The Charges and we wrote a detailed methodology here. The entire site, including all charge categories and their descriptions, is available in both English and Spanish.

This project involved original data collection and over a year of work. A full introduction to it lives here.

It was thoroughly recognized in the 2020 Peter Lisagor Awards:

  • Won - Best Data Journalism
  • Won - Best Series - Non-deadline Reporting
  • Won - Best Investigative/Public Service Reporting
  • Finalist - Best Multimedia Feature Presentation
  • Finalist - Best Investigative Reporting