The Murder Chicago Didn’t Want to Solve

In 1963, a Black politician named Ben Lewis was shot to death in Chicago. Clues suggest the murder was a professional hit. Decades later, it remains no accident authorities never solved the crime.

Reporting From the Midwest

ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism with moral force. Our first regional publishing operation opened in Chicago in 2017, dedicated to stories about big issues that affect people living and working in the state of Illinois. In 2021, we are expanding our team to cover the Midwest, with a focus on Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Missouri. Read more.

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.

The Unfinished Business of Flint’s Water Crisis

Criminal charges and a class-action settlement may seem like the last chapter in Flint’s story, but many of the most important reforms at the root of the city’s water crisis remain undone.

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.

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.

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.