Loyola University Chicago

Center for Criminal Justice Research, Policy, and Practice

Covid-19's Effect on Chicago Crime Trends

The coronavirus's rapid spread has required Chicago and Cook County justice agencies to quickly respond to the crisis. On March 24th, Chicago Police directed officers to reduce police stops and issue citations in lieu of low-level misdemeanors arrests. On March 17th, the Cook County Jail began a reassesment of bond for primarily non-violent offenders.

Concerns of a crime wave have been raised primarily by law enforcement agencies. Early analysis by the Marshall Project suggests the opposite trend. Reported crime is down across the country in major cities.

This project tracks the effect of 2019-nCoV Containment Policies on crime trends in Chicago on a weekly basis and Cook County jail population which updates daily. Incident data is pulled from the Chicago Data Portal. Cook County jail data is taken from the Cook County Sheriff's Office.

Overall Trends

Protests occured in Chicago after George Floyd was killed. Overall reported trends in crimes changed dramatically due to a large increase in certain offenses — particularly burglary and criminal damage. Other reported crimes continued their post-covid trends. We used the BSTS modeling approach set forth by Campedelli, Gian M., et al. to gauge the impact of containment policies on overall reported crime. Predicted incidents are the estimated daily counts absent containment policy in Chicago.

→ Decrease in crime, significant effect → Increase in crime, significant effect → No significant effect

Jail Population

Homicides and Shootings

Chicago Neighborhoods