Hacking 4 Justice

The first Hacking 4 Justice workshop took place on September 22nd and 23rd — thank you to all who participated! If you want to be the first to hear about the next Hacking 4 Justice workshop and other SAO training opportunities, sign up here!

Hacking 4 Justice is an inclusive, positive training series open — for free — to anyone in Cook County. The ideal participant is passionate about criminal justice, has some experience working with Excel or Google Sheets (or even R) but does not need to be an expert, and is excited to spend two days digging into data and learning new skills. We'll provide the training, the food, the caffeine, and the WiFi. Watch SA Foxx explain why Hacking 4 Justice "more than anything that I’ve done in the last almost-two years, is [a big part of] that that I think will outlive my tenure."

On Day 1, we talk about the structure and significance of the SAO's public case-level data and introduce critical R skills like data cleaning, graphing, and descriptive statistics. We also talk about doing analytical work in teams, and the best approaches for designing research questions. After getting everyone up to speed, we split up into teams ourselves to put our new skills to work on actual analytical projects using SAO data — and the training venue will stay open overnight for everyone to keep working as late as they want.

On Day 2, each group finishes up their project work in the morning and we spend the afternoon sharing what we've built and learned.

By the time everyone heads home, every participant will have a solid foundation using R for statistical analysis, a solid understanding of the SAO's data transparency efforts — a brand-new network of like-minded civic tech people.