Cook County States Attorney and Cook County Sheriff's Department - Manuals & References

Chicago-One News presents this page as a public resource to help the public keep the law enforcement branch of Cook County Government accountable to the people of the City of Chicago and wider Cook County, Illinois.

The City of Chicago makes up the vast majority of the geography and population of Cook County. This page exists to show the complex relationship between the Chicago Police Department, the Cook County States Attorney, and the Cook County Sheriff's Department. The populace needs to be educated, the public needs to know what is in the policy books of the law enforcement agencies handling the cases created by the Chicago Police Department if the populace is to exercise their legal, necessary rights to keep these agencies accountable for their actions or lack of actions.

To that end, Chicago-One News has built this resource page. Using the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, Chicago-One has obtained key policy manuals and policy documents that answer the most important questions asked by the public regarding the inner-workings of the Office of The Cook County States Attorney, and the Cook County Sheriff's Department.

Policy manuals from the CCSAO on this page come from:

  • The CCSAO Criminal Prosecutions Bureau
  • The CCSAO Felony Review Unit
  • The CCSAO Investigations Bureau
  • The CCSAO Special Prosecutions Bureau
  • The CCSAO Conviction Integrity Unit
  • The CCSAO Crime Strategies Taskforce (This is an intelligence unit, per admission of the CCSAO) 
  • The CCSAO Administrative Services Bureau
When the Chicago Police Department carries-out certain sensitive investigations, makes arrests for ANY criminal offense, especially felony offenses, the Cook County States Attorney is involved.  By CPD policy, only a sworn Department member with a rank of "Police Officer Assigned as Detective" can investigate and present felony cases to the CCSAO. When this happens, the suspect of the investigation is held at one of 5 CPD Detective Areas, or one of 22 CPD District stations. The assigned Detective(s) place a phone call to the Cook County States Attorney Felony Review Unit.

The CCSAO Felony Review Unit (FAU) will respond to the district or the Detective area where the assigned Detective(s) meet with the CCSAO Felony Review Unit Attorney(s) and lay out the case for them. The CCSAO FAU Attorney will look at all the case materials, speak with the witness(es), the accused, and make a decision to approve or deny one or more felony charges. Denial of a felony doesn't mean a misdemeanor won't be charged.

The CCSAO Felony Review Manual provides the public with every detail of Felony Review

Once the CCSAO has a case in court, they track the case using what is called the CRIMES System. The CRIMES user manual tells the public exactly how this system is used for each of its system applications. The CCSAO CRIMES Manual is broken-down into sections as follows:

  • Grand Jury Administrative Informations
  • Felony Trial
  • Grand Jury Administrative - Indictments From Pre Lims
  • Felony Review Case Intake
  • Preliminary Hearings Process
  • Traffic Preliminary Hearings Process
  • Narcotics Case Intake

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