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A Django app that tracks the population of Cook County Jail over time and summarizes trends.
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Cook County Jail Data Project

We have built an API that tracks the population of Cook County Jail over time and summarizes trends, the workin version of which is running at We are also working on a newer version to supplement and eventually replace the one currently available.

Our whole project has two essential components: (1) the aforementioned API, and (2) the web scraper that populates it.

Our Data

Each day, our web scraper runs and updates our database of inmate information; personally identifying information is not kept. Over time, we have uncovered a lot of potentially interesting data that can be used to analyze trends in the Cook County Jail System, though it is not definitive. For a basic look at some of these trends, see our sister project, 26th and California. The code that backs it is also on Github.

If you are interested in exploring or otherwise using the raw data from our API, see our API Guide on what data is available, and the best way to access it. There is also a small v2.0 API Guide, which is still growing. While this is being developed, you can influence the choice of what API methods are built next by leaving a comment on the 2.0 API Hackpad.


Want to help out? There's a lot of ways you can contribute, and no patch is too small. You can:

  • report bugs
  • suggest new features
  • write or edit documentation
  • write or refactor code
  • write or refactor tests
  • close issues
  • review patches
  • participate in design decisions made during a weekly, in-person Saturday meeting at FreeGeek Chicago or during a Wednesday remote meeting.

If you want to contribute to the development of the project itself, please see our wiki page on getting started.

Our Issues

We use GitHub's issue tracker to report problems, as well as to coordinate development efforts:


See for our list of contributors.


Licensed under the GNU General Public License Version 3. See

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