The Violence Data Landscape is funded in part by The Joyce Foundation.
Chicago has more homicides than any other city in the US, but an imperfect data environment to support and monitor coordinated, data-driven violence prevention strategies. The Chicago Police Department and other City agencies provide the public with online access to a tremendous amount of data, but use can be difficult and data accuracy has been questioned. Criminal justice data from Cook County and Illinois are much harder to access. Health data at all levels of government are subject to extensive protections.
The Illinois Violent Death Reporting System now receives federal funding, which will increase timeliness of data and support enhanced dissemination. Many researchers and nonprofit organizations throughout Chicago have their own violence-related data systems.
In early 2015, Strengthening Chicago's Youth (SCY) at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago began to convene the Violence Data Landscape (VDL) initiative, forming a collaborative of community and youth violence prevention programs, researchers, and advocates to identify strategies to increase use and dissemination of violence-related data for policy and program improvement in Illinois. A group consisting of representatives from the Illinois Department of Public Health, Chicago Department of Public Health, Cook County Department of Public Health, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, Illinois Framework for Healthcare and Human Services, Chicago Police Department, Joyce Foundation, University of Chicago Crime Lab, Chapin Hall, and Loyola University of Chicago met four times between March and June.