[Chicago] Correctional Data Camp this Saturday

sheila miguez shekay at pobox.com
Thu Feb 7 17:05:34 CET 2013

Hi all,

If you are interested in civic hacking consider going to this.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: David Eads <davideads at gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Feb 5, 2013 at 6:33 PM
Subject: Correctional Data Camp
To: FreeGeek/Chicago Talk <freegeekchicago-talk at googlegroups.com>

Hey everyone, the cool customers of the Supreme Chi-Town Coding Crew
are holding Correctional Data Camp this weekend. We'd love to see you


At Cibola, 1647 S. Blue Island, Noon - 5pm

Here's the long description:

A fun, funky one-day workshop to learn practical web application and
data visualization skills using real-world data.

What is the Cook County Jail Inmate Tracker and 26th and California?

In late 2012, the Supreme Chi-Town Coding Crew and Open City Apps
began a project to collect and present jail population data online.
The Supreme Chi-Town Coding Crew developed software to scrape the
Sheriff’s Inmate Locator to capture raw inmate-level data, including
court history, housing details, and demographics (though not
identifying details). The scraped data is presented via a simple,
RESTful web API with support for JSON, XML, and CSV output formats.

Get started by checking out our project pages and documentation:

API project page: https://github.com/sc3/cookcountyjail
API documentation:https://github.com/sc3/cookcountyjail/wiki/API-guide
UI project page (includes tutorial):https://github.com/sc3/26thandcalifornia

Why Cook County Jail?

Cook County Jail is a crucial piece of Chicago's criminal justice
infrastructure. Every day, the jail houses 10,000 or more inmates
awaiting trial or serving short sentences, and has been considered the
largest jail in the United States for decades. Based on the county’s
estimate of 9300 inmates a day at a cost of $143 per inmate per day,
the jail cost taxpayers about $485 million in 2012. And In
2011,inmates stayed an average of 54.1 days, part of a steady increase
in average stay length.

Today, there is no publically accessible, machine-readable data about
the jail’s inmate population. But the Sheriff’s department does run an
online inmate locator, seemingly to allow loved ones and legal counsel
to find out visitation times, bond amount, and court date information.

With Python, Javascript, and a little elbow grease, citizens can
scrape the inmate locator and collect useful data to learn about
what's going on in Cook County Jail.

What’s gonna go down?

SC3, Open City, and friends are organizing this one-day workshop to
build software to browse and visualize the inmate data. By splitting
the API and UI, a group of dedicated developers can work on the data
and API long term, while a larger group of more casual participants
can develop the front end user interface working in HTML, CSS and

We’ll have four tracks:

* Get on board: For fledgling developers and people new to the project
or technologies used.
* UI hacking: For people with prior experience or who have come to SC3
hack days or the Backbone workshop organized by the Chicago Data
Visualization Group and want to keep developing features.
* API hacking: For database lovin’, command line hackin’ nerds who
want to contend with Django.
* Data analysis: For the data whiz who wants to explore and analyze
the data using tools like Excel, R, or SPSS.

David Eads - 773.354.2285
News applications developer, Chicago Tribune
Founder, FreeGeek Chicago (http://freegeekchicago.org)

“The awful thing about life is this: everyone has their reasons.” -- Jean Renoir

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