In 1673, Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet were the two French explorers to discover Illinois. After the Indian and French War, the area was ceded to Britain. It became a state of the United States of America in the year 1818. The proximity and connection to Lake Michigan and the eastern ports through the Erie Canal have made Chicago grow into a large, busy city that could not be stopped even by the big fire that happened in 1871. This booming city became a popular place to work and live for freed blacks and immigrants during the later part of the 19th century when slaughterhouses, mills, and rail yards had big demands for workers.

The state of Illinois has a total number of 102 counties, most of which were named after Revolutionary War American leaders. Surprisingly, one name that has not been used to name a county is that of Abraham Lincoln, Illinois’ famous and favorite son.

The law and constitution of Illinois are under the jurisdiction of a unified court system that is composed of:

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Illinois is administered by a chief justice and six associate justices. Its judicial powers include final decisions over appellate jurisdiction with limits concerning original jurisdiction. Constitutionality of laws cases and capital cases give them mandatory jurisdiction and discretionary jurisdiction over cases coming from the Appellate Courts.

Appellate Court
Both criminal and civil cases coming from the Circuit Courts can be appealed in the Appellate Court. There are three judges in the Appellate Court who hear the cases and their decision is based on two concurrences.

Circuit Courts
The original jurisdiction occurs in the Illinois Circuit Courts. The state has 24 judicial circuits that can decide on any case with limited exceptions. Some of the exceptions would be judging the ability of a governor of the state to resume or serve office.

Offender Search Web Page

The purpose and specifics of the Offender Search Web Page in each state varies. Read the disclosures carefully. Updates to the database could be biweekly, monthly and daily depending on the states Corrections Department schedule. Some searches show offenders incarcerated in the entire prison system including county jails and some only state prisons. Sometimes historical offender data is available and sometimes only current inmate records are listed. Youth and adult offenders are sometimes located on separate search portals.

State Offender Search: 


Public Records

Court Clerk

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