Archive

Held Back: Inside a Lost School Year

Teacher Ashlee Thompson had a lot to worry about this year: A deadly virus. A poor district under threat by the state. And now, a new mandate for her students: Learn to read or flunk the third grade.

Has Your Family Paid Fees or Fines to a Juvenile Justice System?

Has your family faced financial hardship as a result of a delinquency case? We’d like to hear from you.

Thousands of Illinois Drivers Would Get Their Licenses Back Under a Criminal Justice Reform Bill

If Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs the measure that lawmakers passed this week, motorists will no longer lose their licenses for unpaid red-light and speed camera tickets.

Bill Banning Locked Seclusion and Face-Down Restraints in Illinois Schools Stalls as Lawmakers Run Out of Time

Illinois lawmakers pledge to try again to prohibit what one called “horrific and barbaric” methods of controlling students.

These Cities Tried to Tackle Disinvestment. Here Are Lessons From What Happened.

Local governments have made efforts to revive commerce in neglected Black neighborhoods around the country. It hasn’t always worked. But Chicago can learn from their experiences.

Judges Are Locking Up Children for Noncriminal Offenses Like Repeatedly Disobeying Their Parents and Skipping School

Michigan’s juvenile justice system is archaic. Counties act with little oversight, and the state keeps such poor data it doesn’t know how many juveniles it has in custody or what happens to them once they’re in the system.

How a Chicago Political Hangout Went From Bustling to Boarded-Up — Even After the City Promised Help

Wallace’s Catfish Corner, a fish and soul food restaurant on Chicago’s West Side, was a neighborhood staple. Now the building is boarded-up and unused. Its messy history shows the challenges of rebuilding an area devastated by disinvestment.

The Way Prisoners Flag Guard Abuse, Inadequate Health Care and Unsanitary Conditions Is Broken

Prisoners rely on grievances as an early-warning system for dangerous conditions, from poor medical care to abuse. But in Illinois, experts say the system is sputtering, with little oversight, resulting in injuries to prisoners.

La niñez robada de obreros adolescentes

Inmigrantes menores de edad que hacen turnos nocturnos en fábricas suburbanas sueñan con una vida mejor para hijos que todavía no tienen. El padre de la autora hizo lo mismo.

The Stolen Childhood of Teenage Factory Workers

Immigrant teenagers who work overnight shifts in suburban factories dream of a better life for children they don’t yet have. So did the author’s father.

National Ban on School Use of Seclusion and Restraint of Students Introduced in Congress

Congressional Democrats introduced legislation to ban schools from using physical restraints that can restrict students’ breathing, and from using isolated timeout. ProPublica and the Chicago Tribune last year revealed the harms of these practices.

Inside the Lives of Immigrant Teens Working Dangerous Night Shifts in Suburban Factories

During the day, immigrant teenagers attend high school. At night, they work in factories to pay debts to smugglers and send money to family. The authorities aren’t surprised by child labor. They’re also not doing much about it.

El mundo secreto de los adolescentes inmigrantes que trabajan en peligrosos turnos nocturnos en fábricas suburbanas

Durante el día, inmigrantes menores de edad van a la secundaria. Por la noche, trabajan en fábricas para pagar deudas del viaje y mandar dinero a sus familias. El trabajo infantil no sorprende a las autoridades. Tampoco están haciendo mucho sobre el tema.

New Data Shows the Use of Seclusion and Restraint Increased in Illinois Schools During the 2017–18 School Year

As lawmakers prepare to debate a statewide ban on seclusion and restraint, Illinois schools reported using seclusion — the practice of forcibly isolating a student in a small room or other space — at least 10,776 times in the 2017–18 school year.

Disinvested: How Government and Private Industry Let the Main Street of a Black Neighborhood Crumble

A half-century after Chicago’s uprisings in 1968, a once-thriving retail strip in East Garfield Park still suffers from broken promises, bad policy and neglect.

Out of Jail and Back in School, Grace Finds Her Voice

“Your past does not define you,” Grace said in her first public event. The Michigan teen’s case sparked national outrage and the #FreeGrace campaign after she was sent to juvenile detention for not completing online schoolwork.

The Questionable Line Items of Illinois’ COVID-19 Spending

We thought you should know more about how your taxpayer dollars are being spent. Use our look-up tool to examine COVID-19 spending in Illinois.

Grenades, Bread and Body Bags: How Illinois Has Spent $1.6 Billion in Response to COVID-19 So Far

Fighting — and adapting to — the coronavirus in Illinois has been costly. So far, state agencies have spent more than $1.6 billion in federal and state COVID-19 funding since late March, buying everything from face masks to Subway sandwiches.

Illinois Will Start Sharing Data About COVID-19 Outbreaks in Schools

As educators and parents assess the risk of returning to the classroom, some felt frustrated by the lack of public data about COVID-19 in schools. After a ProPublica and Chicago Tribune investigation, the state will start publishing the data.

Follow ProPublica

More from ProPublica