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Illinois Public Records

The Illinois Freedom of Information Act (IFOIA) provides definitions and exemptions for what constitutes public records, who may access them and what the agency's responsibilities are for holding and providing records that are requested.  'Public Record is defined as "all records, reports, forms, writings, letters, memoranda, books, papers, maps, photographs, microfilms, cards, tapes, recordings, electronic data processing records, recorded information and all other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, having been prepared, or having been or being used, received, possessed or under the control of any public body."  This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Administrative manuals, procedural rules, and instructions to staff, unless exempted by Section 7 of the IFOIA
  • Final opinions and orders made in the adjudication of cases, except an educational institution's adjudication of student or employee grievance or disciplinary cases
  • Substantive rules
  • Statements and interpretations of policy which have been adopted by a public body
  • Final planning policies, recommendations, and decisions
  • Factual reports, inspection reports, and studies whether prepared by or for the public body
  • All information in any account, voucher, or contract dealing with the receipt or expenditure of public or other funds of public bodies
  • The names, salaries, titles, and dates of employment of all employees and officers of public bodies
  • (Materials containing opinions concerning the rights of the state, the public, a subdivision of state or a local government, or of any private persons
  • The name of every official and the final records of voting in all proceedings of public bodies
  • Applications for any contract, permit, grant, or agreement except as exempted from disclosure by subsection (g) of Section 7 of the IFOIA
  • Each report, document, study, or publication prepared by independent consultants or other independent contractors for the public body
  • All other information required by law to be made available for public inspection or copying
  • Information relating to any grant or contract made by or between a public body and another public body or private organization
  • Waiver documents filed with the State Superintendent of Education or the president of the University of Illinois under Section 30?12.5 of the School Code, concerning nominees for General Assembly scholarships under Sections 30?9, 30?10, and 30?11 of the School Code
  • Complaints, results of complaints, and Department of Children and Family Services staff findings of licensing violations at day care facilities, provided that personal and identifying information is not released  and
  • Records, reports, forms, writings, letters, memoranda, books, papers, and other documentary information, regardless of physical form or characteristics, having been prepared, or having been or being used, received, possessed, or under the control of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority dealing with the receipt or expenditure of public funds or other funds of the Authority in connection with the reconstruction, renovation, remodeling, extension, or improvement of all or substantially all of an existing "facility" as that term is defined in the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority Act."

Records are NOT considered public if they are:

  • Protected from disclosure by Federal or State law
  • Are deemed an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy (not including public employees and officials). 
    • Information protected here includes any and all patient, student, personnel, taxpayer documentations.
    • Also protected here are records that would reveal the identity of anyone who file complaints with or provide information to administrative, investigative, law enforcement or penal agencies, or those who participate in park, forest or conservation district programs.
    • Further, records containing finger or thumbprints kept by the government are also protected.
  • Records compiled by any public body for administrative enforcement proceedings and any law enforcement or correctional agency for law enforcement purposes or for internal matters of a public body when that information would
    • frustrate an open investigation or administrative proceedings,
    • deprive a person of a fair trial,
    • infringe on personal privacy,
    • disclose investigative techniques or
    • endanger the life or safety of any party involved.
  • Criminal history record information maintained by State or local criminal justice agencies, except the following which shall be open for public inspection and copying:
    • chronologically maintained arrest information, such as traditional arrest logs or blotters;
    • the name of a person in the custody of a law enforcement agency and the charges for which that person is being held;
       court records that are public;
    • records that are otherwise available under State or local law;
    • or  records in which the requesting party is the individual identified unless otherwise provided for

ALSO EXEMPT FROM PUBLIC DISCLOSURE ARE

  • Records that relate to or affect the security of correctional institutions and detention facilities.
  • Trade secrets
  • Proposals or bids whose release might frustrate the procurement process (until the award is made)
  • Blueprints, software, designs, drawings and research  whose release could expect a private gain or public loss.  This includes those plans that are not solely developed with public funds.
  • Library circulation data
  • Any and all data whose release would endanger the safety, operations, practices, or finances or any agency or agent.

Requests for information can be made either verbally or in writing; however, it should be noted that the sections of the IFOIA that pertain to the appeals process, delivery time limits and so on are geared toward requests that are made in writing.  Written requests are also clearer to the agency and provide a solid vehicle for them to understand your request and better ensure swift delivery. 

IFOIA INFORMATION REQUEST FORM

Brief History of STATE

Pre European history of the land we call Illinois is much like that of the other states in the country.  Various native tribes inhabited the lands and interacted with one another in a variety of ways, both as allies and enemies.  Most notable here is the ancient Mississippian civilization of Cahokia, located near present day Collinsville; this was the urban center of their time.  It is not known exactly why, but the peoples of this civilization vanished sometime in the 1400’s.   Evidence left behind includes 120 manmade mounds over an area of 6 square miles.  This site is the largest archaeological site related to the Mississippian culture and has been designated a National Historic Landmark.  Other artifacts include intricate copper plates that were found at burial sites.  Other major indigenous powers in the region were the Illinois Confederation or Illini, a political alliance among several tribes. According to estimates, approximately 25,000 Illinois Indians lived in the region in 1700.  These numbers were greatly reduced by genocide inflicted on them by the Iroquois.  Other tribes in the area were Potawatomi, Miami, Sauk, Fox, and Ho-Chuck. 

1673 marked the first documented European exploration of the land by the French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet via the Illinois River. In 1680, other French explorers constructed a fort at the site of present day Peoria, in 1682 a fort atop Starved Rock in what is now Starved Rock State Park.   Illinois was part of the French empire until 1763, when it passed to the British, but British or American settlement didn’t really occur here and the French settlements continued to thrive.  In 1778 George Rogers Clark claimed the Illinois Country for Virginia.  A few years later, the area was ceded by Virginia to the new United States and became part of the Northwest Territory. The Illinois Territory was created nearly 20 years later in 1809 and in 1818 Illinois became the 21st U.S. state. 

In 1832 the Black Hawk War was fought in Illinois and current day Wisconsin between the United States and several Indian tribes including Sauk, Fox and Kickapoo. The band retreated to Iowa where forces pushed them to stay.  This was a war over land that was sold without Black-Hawk’s consent.  His aggressive protest was seen as an “invasion of the State”and the US Military power was called in.

For the next several years, Illinois was plagued by extra harsh winters that prohibited travel, caused crops to fail and killed many people, both settlers and travelers caught in the storms and unable to reach shelter. 

Other notable historical items include the Mormon community of Nauvoo which rivaled Chicago as the largest settlement.  This utopian Mormon city was settled and quickly flourished, but just 6 years after it was founded the Mormon peoples left the city for the west.  This was most likely caused by the murder of their leader, Joseph Smith in a Carthage Jail in 1844; the same year the people exited the area.

In 1848, a revised Illinois constitution held exclusionary clauses that allowed for the subsequent banning of all Blacks from settling within the Illinois borders.  This happened despite the fact that Illinois had chosen NOT to be a slave state, and it’s strong leading role in the Underground Railroad as one of the most active participating regions on the road to freedom for slaves.

Early economy of Illinois consisted mainly of agricultural and trade pursuits.  In 1837,  Chicago was founded and has since played a large part in the industrial revolution of the late 19th and early 20th centuries becoming the  urban center of Illinois, the largest city in the US Midwest region  and today the 3rd largest City in the country.   Accomplishments here include the Illinois-Michigan Canal connecting the great lakes and Mississippi River and creating a thriving shipping and trade economy.  Also of note here is world’s first sky scraper and the first controlled nuclear reaction (as part of the Manhattan Project).

Today, the economy of Illinois consists of several segments.  These include:

Agriculture:  Corn, Soybeans, Hogs, cattle, dairy products and wheat.  Generally Illinois is ranked #1 in soybean production and #2 in the production of corn.

Manufacturing:   Chemical, Food, Machinery, Fabricated Metal, Plastics, Rubber Products, Transportation Equipment and Computer Electronic Products.

Services:  Financial Trading, Education, Medicine, Logistics, Publishing.

Energy:  Electricity, Coal, Petroleum, Nuclear Power, Wind Power and Bio-Fuels.

Illinois Government Info

The State Government of Illinois is modeled after the US Federal Government, with 3 branches and a bicameral legislature.  The area of the state is further broken down into jurisdictional districts, counties, municipalities and townships.  For more information on specific counties, districts or cities, please see the appropriate AFR county pages.

Search elected officials by District/ Find a District by Official

Office of the Governor

Springfield
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: 217-782-0244
TTY: 888-261-3336

Chicago
James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph, 16-100
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: 312-814-2121

Office of the Lt. Governor

Springfield
214 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: 217-782-7884
Fax: 217-524-6262

Chicago
James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph, 15-200
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: 312-814-5220
Fax: 312-814-4862

Offices of the Attorney General

Chicago Main Office
100 West Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 814-3000
TTY: 1-800-964-3013

Springfield Main Office
500 South Second Street
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1090
TTY: 1-877-844-5461

Carbondale Main Office
1001 East Main Street
Carbondale, IL 62901
(618) 529-6400/6401
TTY: 1-877-675-9339

REGIONAL OFFICES

Chicago West Regional Office
306 N. Pulaski Rd.
Chicago, IL 60624
(773) 265-8808

East Central Illinois Regional Office
1776 E. Washington St.
Urbana, IL 61802
(217) 278-3366
TTY: (217) 278-3371

Chicago South Regional Office
7906 S. Cottage Grove Ave.
Chicago, IL 60619
(773) 488-2600

Northern Illinois Regional Office
Zeke Giorgi Center
200 South Wyman St.
Suite 307 Rockford, IL 61101
(815) 967-3883
TTY: (815) 967-3891

West Central Illinois Regional Office
628 Maine Street
Quincy, IL 62301
(217) 223-2221
TTY: (217) 223-2254

Metro East Illinois Regional Office
201 West Pointe Drive
Suite 7
Belleville, IL 62226
(618) 236-8616
TTY: (618) 236-8619

Department of Children and Family Services

Chicago Headquarters
100 West Randolph Street 6-200
Chicago IL
60601
312.814.6800
312.814.8783

Springfield Headquarters
406 East Monroe
Springfield IL
62701-1498
217.785.2509
217.785.6605

Child Abuse Hotline
800-25-ABUSE
(800-252-2873)
217-785-4020

Missing Child Helpline
866-503-0184

Advocacy Office
800-232-3798
217-524-2029

Day Care Information
877-746-0829

Foster Parent Hotline
800-624-KIDS
(800-624-5437)

Adoption Hotline
800-572-2390

Inspector General
800-722-9124

Youth Hotline
800-232-3798

Department of Corrections

217-558-2200

1301 Concordia Court
P.O. Box 19277
Springfield, IL 62794-9277

James R. Thompson Center
100 West Randolph
Chicago, IL 60601

Parole Office  (800) 666-6744.

Illinois Inmate Search

Facilities Locator

Illinois State Sex Offender Registry Website

Illinois Wanted Fugitives

Department of Juvenile Justice

217-558-2200, extension 2008,

707 N. 15th St.
Springfield, IL 62702

James R. Thompson Center
100 West Randolph
Chicago, IL 60601

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency

Air Pollution Control Permit Section (217) 782-7027

Hazardous Waste Site Clean-ups

  • (217) 785-1427
  • (217) 524-8807
  • (217) 524-4825
  • (217) 557-4972

Leaking Underground Storage Tanks  (217) 524-2292

Manufactured Coal Gasification Plant Sites (217) 785-1427

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (217) 785-3924

Resource Conservation & Recovery Permit Program  (217) 524-3288

Right to Know  (217) 782-5562

Waukegan Harbor Cleanup (217) 524-2292

IEPA FOIA INFO

Historic Preservation Agency

Director and Program Administration
Old State-Journal Register Building
313 South Sixth Street
Springfield, IL 62701

Preservation Services
1 Old State Capitol Plaza
Springfield, IL 62701

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum
112 - 212 North Sixth Street
Springfield, IL 62701

Prisoner Review Board

319 East Madison Street, Suite A
Springfield, IL 62701

Telephone: (217) 782-7273
Fax: (217) 524-0012

Victims toll-free: 1-800-801-9110

Secretary of State

State Archives

State Fire Marshal

Office of the State Fire Marshal

1035 Stevenson Drive
Springfield, Illinois 62703

Fax: 217-557-1779

ISFM FOIA Requests

State Police

(Indicate Division or Office)
801 South Seventh Street
(Indicate Suite Number)
P.O. Box 19461
Springfield, IL 62794-9461

Directory of Departments

Request Criminal History Information

Supreme Court, Illinois

State Agencies  FULL LIST