Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests

For the past few weeks, I have been working on sending Freedom of Information Act (or FOIA) requests to different counties in central Illinois. By sending these requests, we are hoping to receive the jail bookings and arrest data in these counties over the past twenty years as they relate to human trafficking cases. Though most counties accept a letter of request, some have specific forms they require to be filled out in order to receive the information we require. Thus, I have been doing research on each county to determine not only if they have specific forms required, but to determine which office would best be able to fulfill my request, as each request cannot be sent to the same offices in each county. Most State Attorney’s offices are able to help us with our requests, but not all. For some counties, the Sheriff's office holds this information. So, through trial and error, I have worked to send out these requests to whichever office is best suited to help us. Due to the nature of our request and the quantity of information we are asking for, not all counties that have been requested from have been able/willing to turn over the information we need. Though this is a setback, I will continue to work diligently to send out FOIA requests to central Illinois counties to gather the information needed. 

Gabby Watson


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