A significant part of my work involves locating and analyzing data. I’m a data nerd at heart. In November 2010, I launched the Chicago Youth Justice Data Project (CYJDP). My goal was to make juvenile justice-related data more easily accessible to local community members in Chicago. However, I only care about data to the extent that it can be a tool to help mobilize people for action and to perhaps inform policy.
Since CYJDP launched, I have been heartened by the positive feedback that it has received. Community members and organizers have been in touch with me to ask various questions, I facilitated a data workshop in late 2011 that was very well-received, and we have written and published several reports. Some of the reports have been cited by local policymakers, used in media reports, and most importantly to me, they’ve been incorporated in local organizing efforts.
Today, I am excited to unveil “Policing Chicago Public Schools (Volume 2).” This is a report that I co-wrote and co-produced with my friend Eva Nagao. Eva is the genius who actually designed the report and the site. I love the fact that we are experimenting with interactivity. I am incredibly grateful to her for this and so much more. She has volunteered her time with my organization for over a year now and without such support we could not do what we do.
“Policing Chicago Public Schools (Volume 2)” relies on data from the Chicago Police Department (CPD) to show the types of offenses and the demographics (gender and race) of the youth arrested on CPS properties in calendar years 2011 and 2012. The report builds upon the 2010 data that we presented in January 2012.
CPD reports its data by police district rather than by individual school so this year we also worked with students from Loyola University to create an interactive application that allows individuals to search for crime and arrest data by school for the 2011-2012 school year too.
The key data points in the report are that:
- Overall youth school-based arrests have been decreasing. In 2010, over 5,500 arrests of young people under 18 years old took place on CPS properties. In 2011, the number of youth school-based arrests (18 & under) was 4,959 and in 2012, it was 4,287.
- Black youth are still disproportionately targeted by these arrests. While they represent about 42% of CPS students, black youth accounted for 75.5% percent of school-based arrests in 2012. This mirrors the general trend of disproportionate minority contact within the juvenile legal system.
- In 2012, young men were more likely to be arrested on CPS properties than were their female counterparts [68% vs. 32%].
- Most youth school-based arrests are for misdemeanor offenses (84%) as opposed to felonies (16%).
- In 2012, 86% of youth school-based arrests happened in school buildings while 14% took place on school grounds.
- In 2012, the top three aggregate numbers of youth school-based arrests were in the 8th, 5th, and 4th police districts. Together these three districts accounted for 30% of total youth school-based arrests on CPS properties.
You can read the full report here. I am really proud of what we’ve done to make this report interactive. I hope that you will take the time to browse.
Below, you can find an infographic that Eva created to help summarize the key findings of the report (so, so exciting).