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An official website of the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office


New Data Dashboard

By Eric F. Rinehart · September 2, 2021

Welcome to the Lake County State’s Attorney Data Dashboard. I’m excited to launch the first ever public data dashboard from the State’s Attorney’s office.

I want to thank the many people who have worked hard to launch this dashboard as well as those whose support has made it a reality. Specifically, I’d like to thank the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Center for Criminal Justice Research, Policy, and Practice at Loyola University Chicago.

As State’s Attorney, I am fighting for all Lake County families to make our beautiful county safer and fairer for all people — regardless of race, class, gender, or sexual orientation. Part of that fight is to collect, analyze, and share data with the public in order to have a more engaged and educated community. We must always strive to live up to the ideal of providing “equal justice for all.”

We are committed to building and using the data infrastructure needed now, and in the decades to come, to make sure we do our job to the best of our ability. This dashboard is a critical part of that data infrastructure as well as our dedication to be a transparent and accountable prosecutor’s office. If there are disparities in our justice system, the public and the Lake County legal community need to be made aware so that reforms can be made.

I look forward to growing the data available to our residents through this dashboard as we continue to update the current data and add new metrics and trends as more data becomes available.

Felony APP

By SAO Dash · August 30, 2022

The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office provides a Felony Alternative Prosecution Program (APP) to divert some defendants from the traditional course of prosecution if they accept responsibility and agree to improve themselves. Using alternatives to incarceration is a rehabilitation strategy for the long-term reduction of crime. Between 2014 and 2021, 93% of participants have successfully completed the program.

As with many other aspects of the criminal justice system, the data shows that the State’s Attorney’s Felony Alternative Prosecution Program has disproportionately catered to White defendants in the past, even though White people represent a minority of those arrested in Lake County.

A new data-driven administration took over the State’s Attorney’s Office in December 2020 with many goals including increasing the access and diversity of the alternative prosecution program. With the addition of new staff and increased outreach to defense attorneys and public defenders, data from this reinvigorated program shows a new trend for participants in 2021-2022.

From January 2021 through May 2022, 61% of the new participants in Felony APP where Non-White while 39% were White. Additionally, 2022 is on pace to have the most (new) participants in any year since the program’s inception.

Recent studies in Texas, Pennsylvania, and Illinois show that diversion programs dramatically decrease crime in the long run.

In Texas, research from 2020 found that defendants without a prior felony conviction who participated in the diversion program experienced an immediate and dramatic reduction in subsequent offending. The total number of future convictions fell by 75% over a 10-year follow-up period, compared to similarly situated defendants who did not receive diversion. The diversion participants also were employed at a 50% higher rate than the other group.

A 2022 study released by the University of Pennsylvania demonstrated that individuals who avoided misdemeanor sentences on their records for non-violent offenses had a 35% lower rate of recidivism than those who did not receive diversion. The UPenn study also found that there were dramatic savings on incarceration costs.

Finally, closer to home, Kane County, IL has employed a diversion program for domestic violence cases since 2010. Kane County saw a 25% decrease in intimate-partner violence between 2013 and 2019, while Lake County saw a 3% increase.

The studies show that diversion programs must be deployed carefully and intelligently. To that end, the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office now has several attorneys formally reviewing felony diversion matters, which is a dramatic increase from the past.

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